Gov. Kim Reynolds announced another $148 million in funding for broadband expansion on Monday, but neglected to note it was only made possible by a Biden administration policy she once ridiculed. However, White House Regional Communications Director Haris Talwar pointed this out on Twitter.
“Great to see @IAGovernor continuing to support President Biden’s bold economic vision,” Talwar wrote. “She once called President Biden’s American Rescue Plan a ‘bailout for blue states,’ but is now a #Bidenomics supporter in deed, using another $150M to invest in Iowa all thanks to @POTUS.”
In 2021 shortly after the American Rescue Plan’s passage, Reynolds ran targeted Facebook ads referring to it as a “blue state bailout” to raise money for her reelection campaign.
While Reynolds’ press release about the new funding doesn’t acknowledge the American Rescue Plan—one of Biden’s first major legislative accomplishments as president—a more detailed post on the Office of the Chief Information Officer’s website does.
“Funds for this grant round have been allocated from the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) Capital Projects Fund (“CPF”) to provide a substantial infusion of resources to help turn the tide on the pandemic, address its economic fallout, and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery,” the post reads.
The grants are dispersed through the Empower Rural Iowa Broadband Grant Program to communications service providers to install broadband infrastructure in underserved locations in the state.
Through the first seven rounds of funding from the broadband grant program, the Reynolds administration has awarded about $353 million in funds. Of that $353 million, $307.5 million came from American Rescue Plan funds. Neither of these amounts includes the additional $148 million in funding announced on Monday.
“Iowans deserve access to reliable, fast broadband,” Reynolds said in a statement. “Reliable internet connections are needed to live, work, and raise a family. This investment in infrastructure gets us one step closer to providing easy internet access to all Iowans. ”
According to Reynolds’ office, the broadband grant program has brought service to 109,126 homes, schools, and businesses in Iowa. In 2021, BroadbandNow ranked Iowa as the 45th-best-connected state for internet access. It is now ranked 33rd.
by Ty Rushing
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