US Emergency infrastructure needed to keep Americans safe: Public media
Daily on Energy: Democrats push to impose carbon tariffs
Subscribe today to the Washington Examiner magazine and get Washington Briefing: politics and policy stories that will keep you up to date with what's going on in Washington. SUBSCRIBE NOW: Just $1.00 an issue! © Provided by Washington Examiner DOE Default Image - July 2021 CARBON TARIFFS: Senate Democrats are proposing to impose tariffs on carbon-intensive imports to help pay for their $3.5 trillion tax and spending infrastructure proposal, in a surprising move that opens up a web of complex questions.
When wildfires, floods, ice storms, tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes and other disasters threaten American communities, public radio and television stations are lifelines for affected residents. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, local stations across the United States embraced this role - keeping people safe as they provided uninterrupted, real-time local news and information during quarantines, notified citizens with public health alerts, supported families and teachers by reaching students who lacked broadband access, helping uplift the nation's morale, and so much more.
Free, over-the-air public radio and television broadcast signals reach 99 percent of the U.S. population, connecting and serving communities, including rural and underserved populations and helping to bridge the digital divide. For some Americans, public radio or television may be the sole local broadcast service available. Public media stations are the last locally operated, locally controlled media focused on addressing community needs, and committed to informing, educating and protecting every American.
If Biden Burns AOC on $4 Trillion Deal, He’ll Pay the Price
After four years of jokes that weren’t funny, it may finally be Infrastructure Week in America as Democrats race to move two major pieces of legislation: a $579 billion bipartisan plan to repair the nation’s ailing roads, bridges and energy infrastructure, and a sweeping $3.5 trillion budget plan that Senate Democrats plan to pass on a party-line vote. But while Joe Biden and Senate Democrats have focused on solidifying GOP support for the smaller, bipartisan bill, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is vowing to torpedo Biden’s big package if progressive spending priorities are left out.
Public media's local news, educational and cultural programming is made available by the towers, transmitters, antennae, servers, generators and other infrastructure that ensure public radio and television stations reach all 50 states and U.S. territories. This infrastructure also guarantees delivery of presidential and other lifesaving alerts fed directly through the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the event of a crisis. Public media is there for us when we need it, in ways many don't realize. Ensuring the reliability and modernization of this infrastructure, particularly given the rising threats to cybersecurity, is not only advisable but essential.
While the contributions of public media are greater now than ever, a backlog of urgent infrastructure and equipment replacement needs jeopardizes public media's ability to fulfill its public service mission. The majority of public broadcasting infrastructure was deployed and maintained over the last 50 years by the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) under a program that was last funded in fiscal year 2010 - leaving stations to absorb these capital expenditures or defer equipment replacements.
AP-NORC poll: Parties split on some infrastructure proposals
WASHINGTON (AP) — The overwhelming majority of Americans -- about 8 in 10 -- favor plans to increase funding for roads, bridges and ports and for pipes that supply drinking water. But that's about as far as Democrats and Republicans intersect on infrastructure, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. President Joe Biden has bet that his handshake with a group of Republican senators can help power a $973 billion infrastructure deal through Congress, while Democrats would separately take up a $3.5 trillion proposal that could include money for child tax credits, schools, health care and other priorities.
Station managers across the country have reported that they are operating decades-old equipment on the brink of failure. In many cases, stations can't even properly repair equipment because spare parts are not available. A recent assessment by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting found more than 60,000 pieces of public media station equipment requiring updates or replacement. The reliability of public safety alerts, delivery of public broadcasting's programming and digital operations, and education services that have been especially critical during COVID-19 are all at risk when antennas, transmitters, backup generators and studio equipment begin to fail.
In addition, public media stations, like many other organizations, need to continually evolve cybersecurity best practices to ensure they can provide vital services to the American public regardless of network threats. In the case of the PBS Warning Alert and Response Network, the role of public television is to ensure delivery of lifesaving alerts, even in the event that a cybersecurity breach compromises the primary system.
Bipartisan infrastructure deal enters critical week in Congress with major sticking points unresolved
The much-deliberated bipartisan infrastructure bill is entering a critical week on Capitol Hill with lawmakers projecting optimism ahead of a possible procedural vote this week, potentially on Monday. © Samuel Corum/Getty Images The U.S. Capitol building is closed to the public this year during Independence Day celebrations on July 4, 2021 in Washington, DC. But a weekend of talks had yet to produce an agreement as of late Sunday, while major sticking points remained, per three sources familiar with the matter. The 10 main negotiators are planning to meet Monday to put deliberations back on track.
But there is an opportunity to fortify local public media station infrastructure to ensure it is ready to respond to the next emergency.
As Congress prepares its annual funding bills and finalizes bipartisan legislation for investing in America's infrastructure, lawmakers need to know that public media is as vital to our democracy as the roads, bridges and tunnels that connect us. The routes necessary to get us to safety during an emergency are not effective without real-time communication of alerts, critical news and information about where to go and how to get there. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has requested new funding for equipment, infrastructure and cybersecurity needs for public media stations - an initiative that would benefit every local community in the country.
The loss of public media's local services would be devastating for communities large and small that rely on them. Let's work together to safeguard this public service mission.
Congress should rebuild public media's infrastructure so that public media stations across the country can continue to keep citizens connected, informed, and inspired - and safe.
was the FEMA administrator under President Barack Obama and the head of Florida's Emergency Management Agency under Gov. Jeb Bush. He currently serves on the board of .
House moderates may oppose budget without infrastructure vote .
Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s plan to link the Senate’s $550 billion bipartisan infrastructure plan to a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package is starting to backfire, as moderate Democrats warn they may not vote for a budget resolution needed to begin the reconciliation process unless it’s paired with a vote on the Senate bill. Rep. Ed Case […] The post House moderates may oppose budget without infrastructure vote appeared first on Roll Call.