Washington, DC—Rep. Tom Rice (SC-07) co-sponsored legislation that stops taxpayer funded cell phone programs.  If enacted, the Stop Taxpayer Funded Cell Phones Act, H.R. 176, would prohibit cell phone companies from receiving Universal Service Fund support under the FCC’s Lifeline program. H.R. 176 would still continue providing landline service option.  

“A taxpayer funded cell phone program is a prime example of wasteful government spending,” said Rice.  “The Lifeline program, enacted in 1985, was created to provide low-income families with landline phone service for emergencies and for communication with potential employers. Since its origination, the program has ballooned and infiltrated with fraud and abuse.  While paid through the Universal Service Fund, The Wall Street Journal reported that the program grew to $2.2 billion in 2012.  I commend the original purpose of this program, which is why I support the landline option.”