Congressman Greg Pence (IN-06) and fellow Hoosier Congressman Frank J. Mrvan (IN-01) led 19 of their House colleagues Tuesday in urging the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and related agencies to support the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) grant program.
The Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), aims to expand access to telecommunications capabilities for residents in less densely populated areas – seeking to bridge the gap between non-rural and rural communities with lack of broadband access.
In 2019, Congressman Pence’s amendment to increase funding for the DLT program passed the House floor overwhelmingly by a vote of 425-6. Since then, enacted appropriations bills have included increased dollars to the DLT program thanks to Rep. Pence’s support.
“It has been my priority in Congress to be a voice for Hoosiers back home, and ensure they have proper access to telemedicine and virtual learning programs,” said Pence in a media release. “Many in my community – and across the country rely on dependable broadband infrastructure to receive an education and connect with the healthcare they need. I am pleased to lead my colleagues in urging for further funding for this program that is so vital to countless American’s way of life.”
“I am proud to join with Rep. Pence and my fellow colleagues to advocate for the value of the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program. Due to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen the need and urgency for all individuals to have access to virtual health services, educational programming, and internet-based agribusiness resources,” said Congressman Frank J. Mrvan. “I look forward to continuing to support this program and improved broadband access through the appropriations process.”
Congressman Greg Pence represents Indiana’s 6th District, which includes Shelby County.