President Joe Biden took a dig at Tommy Tuberville on Tuesday, chiding the Alabama senator for celebrating federal broadband internet funding being sent to his state after having previously opposed the legislation that made it happen.
“To no one’s surprise, it’s bringing along some converts,” Biden said of the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program (BEAD) while delivering remarks in Chicago. “There’s a guy named Tuberville, senator from Alabama, went out and said he strongly opposed the legislation. Now he’s hailing its passage.”
The $42 billion in funding for BEAD, which was signed into law by Biden in 2021. The initiative seeks to improve broadband access across the country, particularly in rural areas. Tuberville, along with 29 other Republican senators, voted against the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which housed the legislation.
“I’ve said all along I’d be for a bill that invests every penny of every dollar in improvements to our roads, bridges, waterways, and rural broadband,” Tuberville wrote in a 2021 statement responding to the legislation’s passage “Unfortunately, Democrats have missed an opportunity to deliver the bill that the American people truly need. Instead, the final legislation is loaded with giveaways to big cities and pet projects that have little to do with real infrastructure.”.
But on Tuesday Tuberville tweeted that “broadband is vital for the success of our rural communities and for our entire economy.” He added that it was “great to see Alabama receive crucial funds to boost ongoing broadband efforts.”
“See you at the groundbreaking,” Biden’s official Twitter account quipped in response.
Tuberville was not the only senator to celebrate receiving millions in funding they voted against. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) tweeted on Wednesday that his state would benefit from “$3.3 billion in federal funds to boost broadband expansion efforts.”
At the time of the bill’s passage, Cornyn wrote that while there was “no doubt the nation’s transportation and digital infrastructure need improvements, and Texas stands to benefit once this bill becomes law,” he “[could not] support the final bill,” citing concerns over its funding. Cornyn joined Tuberville in voting against the legislation and, despite their previous reservations, the pair seem happy now to cash their checks.
Source link: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/biden-mocks-tommy-tuberville-broadband-infrastructure-funding-1234780263/