IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED: Ask Farm Bill Conferees to Keep Libraries in Rural Telecommunications Section of H.R. 2419

For Those With Senators and Representatives on Agriculture Committees

Ask all Members of both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees (see list below) to support the Senate version of the Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007 (H.R. 2419), Section 6302, to include “libraries” in the rural telecommunications program: “Telemedicine, Library Connectivity, and Distance Learning Services in Rural Areas.” The conference committee on H.R. 2419 is meeting now and library supporters are needed to keep messages going into the conferees.

For Other Library Supporters

Contact all of your respective Senators and Representatives and ask them to contact Farm Bill conferees to keep libraries in Section 6302.

Background

Amendments in the Senate version of the Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007 (H.R. 2419) add libraries serving rural communities into Section 6302: Telemedicine, Library Connectivity, and Distance Learning Services in Rural Areas. This amendment acknowledges and would support the important role that public libraries play in providing rural areas access to broadband services, leveling the playing field for rural residents. It also promotes partnerships with other participants in this existing program – such as community colleges and K-12 schools.

The amendment language promotes partnerships and collaborations to help fill the missing links in the extension and building out of rural broadband services. This is NOT like the E-rate or other programs and could close the broadband gap in rural America.

There is no similar language in the House version of the Farm Bill, thus library supporters must mount a major grassroots effort during the Farm Bill conference. The battle now is to pressure conferees to include the Senate language in the conference negotiations.

For further information, please contact:

Lynne Bradley
Director, ALA Office of Government Relations (OGR)
lbradley@alawash.org
800-941-8478

SENATE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE, NUTRITION AND FORESTRY
FAX: 202-224-1725

Majority

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND)
Sen. Max S. Baucus (D-MT)
Sen. Blanche L. Lincoln (D-AR)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Sen. E. Benjamin Nelson (D-NE)
Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO)
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Sen. Robert P. Casey (D-PA)
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

Minority

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-IN)
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-SC)
Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN)
Sen. Michael D. Crapo (R-ID)
Sen. John Thune (R-SD)
Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-IA)

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE
FAX: 202-225-8510

Majority

Rep. Collin C. Peterson (D-MN—7)
Rep. Tim Holden (D-PA—17)
Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-NC—7)
Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC—2)
Rep. Leonard L. Boswell (D-IA—3)
Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA—43)
Rep. Dennis A. Cardoza (D-CA—18)
Rep. David Scott (D-GA—13)
Rep. Jim Marshall (D-GA—8)
Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD—At Large)
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX—28)
Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA—20)
Rep. John T. Salazar (D-CO—3)
Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-IN—8)
Rep. Nancy Boyda (D-KS—2)
Rep. Zack Space (D-OH—18)
Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN—1)
Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY—20)
Rep. Steve Kagen (D-WI—8)
Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND—At Large)
Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-TN—4)
Rep. John Barrow (D-GA—12)
Rep. Nick Lampson (D-TX—22)
Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN—2)
Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-FL—16)

Minority

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA—6)
Rep. Terry Everett (R-AL—2)
Rep. Frank D. Lucas (R-OK—3)
Rep. Jerry Moran (R-KS—1)
Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC—8)
Rep. Timothy V. Johnson (R-IL—15)
Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO—6)
Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL—1)
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL—3)
Rep. Steve King (R-IA—5)
Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO—4)
Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX—19)
Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R-LA—7)
Rep. Randy Kuhl (R-NY—29)
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC—5)
Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-TX—11)
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE—1)
Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH—2)
Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE—3)
Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI—7)
Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH—5)

Take Action!

About Jacob Roberts

Jacob Roberts is the communications specialist for the ALA Washington Office.

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