Thune Statement on GAO Findings of Massive Fraud and Waste in FCC’s ‘Lifeline’ Phone Program

June 29, 2017

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today issued the following statement on a new report by the independent Government Accountability Office (GAO) on massive fraud and waste in the Federal Communication Commission’s “Lifeline” phone program subsidizing telephone and broadband service for low-income households.

“The results of GAO’s investigation describe a government program beset by dysfunction and outright waste, fraud, and abuse for many years. This report underscores the mistake the previous leadership of the FCC made last year in scuttling a bipartisan reform intended to bring needed accountability to ensure honest and efficient use of Lifeline program funds.

“While the current leadership of the FCC inherited this mess, it nonetheless falls to them to address the serious shortcomings of the Lifeline program if it is ever to serve its intended purpose. As chairman of the Senate Committee with jurisdiction over the FCC, I will work with my colleagues and the FCC to address these rampant problems. I commend the members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee who requested this investigation three years ago and GAO for its thoroughness and clear conclusions.”