U.S. Reps. Pete Stauber (MN-8) and Michelle Fischbach (MN-7) appeared this past Thursday before a virtual meeting of The Ripon Society and the Franklin Center, where they delivered remarks about some of the top priorities they are working on in Congress and how the COVID-19 vaccine is being rolled out in their home state.
Rep Fischbach called out broadband as a top priority…
“One of the things that I’m really very interested in is making sure that we have strong rural communities,” she stated. “Broadband is particularly important to me. The pandemic has served to highlight the fact that broadband is a huge necessity, and we are lacking it in portions of rural Minnesota. I will continue to fight for it, particularly on the Ag Committee, where I serve as the Ranking Member on the Commodity Exchanges, Energy, and Credit Subcommittee and which has jurisdiction over the issue.”
Fischbach is currently in her first term in the U.S. House after serving over 20 years in the Minnesota Senate, including four as the President of the Senate. In addition to now serving on the House Agriculture Committee, she is also a member of the Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Rules.
“What I really want to make sure is that we’re not only getting money to companies to put in the wire,” she said, returning to the issue of rural broadband, “but we are making sure that once that wire gets to people’s doors, they’re able to access it through technology. We look at tele-health and it’s doing wonderful things now during the shutdowns and things like that. But do people have the ability in their home to access the video call? I’m not a technology geek, but we need to simplify those things for folks in their homes.”
“The bottom line is that we need to make sure people have the kind of quality of life that they want in small towns. That includes education. That includes healthcare. And that includes broadband and internet access. They may come for a job, but a spouse may work from home. I would love to see more young people working from home, using the internet in rural Minnesota, because it’s a great place to raise your kids.”