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Marsha Blackburn Report: Closing The Digital Divide

 

U.S. SenateWashington, D.C. – Over the past several months, our lives have taken a remarkably virtual turn.

A high-speed internet connection is now a necessity: offices have shifted to working from home, health care is delivered over video chat, and storefronts have been replaced by virtual marketplaces.

But the reality is millions of rural Americans lack a reliable broadband connection, putting them at an economic disadvantage. 

We must close the digital divide, which is why I pushed for Congress to include funding for broadband in our response to COVID-19 Coronavirus. 

Senator Marsha Blackburn.

Senator Marsha Blackburn.

Broadband

  • As a result of my efforts, last week Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced more than $61 million in grants to improve access to broadband internet across our state. 
  • Last year, I introduced the bipartisan Internet Exchange Act to improve network resiliency and speed, and increase access to rural broadband. 

I will continue fighting to close the digital divide until all Americans are connected. 

Confronting Communist China 

This week, Beijing ratcheted up tensions in the South China Sea as it continues its quest for global dominance. In response to legal and long-planned multilateral military exercises, Communist China’s military, the People’s Liberation Army, unleashed a barrage of missiles into open waters to intimidate our Navy.

The United States will continue to conduct exercises and operations in international waters, as will our Pacific partners. 

China also gained a seat at an international organization responsible for sorting out disputes on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. China’s growing influence in international organizations is worrisome as each new seat it gains is another avenue for Communist China to sway outcomes and shift global opinions.

But the United States will not sit on the sidelines as Beijing advances its imperialist agenda. The State Department announced new visa restrictions against Chinese nationals and companies propping up Beijing’s expansionist behavior in the South China Sea. 

We must strategically and thoughtfully respond to China’s increasingly aggressive behavior, which is why I released a comprehensive report outlining my vision. 

 


Marsha’s Roundup

You may remember that President Donald Trump signed my Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act into law last year. Now, the U.S. Mint has officially released the coin and medal authorized by the Act. You can order the commemorative coin here and the suffrage silver medal here

Last Tuesday on the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, I spoke at the Hermitage Hotel’s commemoration of the 19th Amendment. We unveiled the hotel’s National Historic Landmark plaque, a designation that came after Senator Alexander and I encouraged the Secretary of the Interior to recognize the hotel’s history. 

In the summer of 1920, the nationwide movement to secure voting rights for women turned its attention toward Tennessee, the last state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment. This final battle for suffrage played out at the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, which served as the headquarters of both the pro- and anti-suffrage forces as they lobbied state legislators. 

President Trump issued an executive order on building and rebuilding monuments to honor American heroes. The U.S. Department of Interior is now accepting public comments in preparation for building a “National Garden of American Heroes.” 

You may submit answers to the following questions by emailing or visiting this website

  • Are there locations of natural beauty within your unit of local government that would serve as a reputable location for these monuments, statues, and the National Garden of American Heroes? Please list and describe any such locations consistent with the order. 
  • In addition to the 31 individuals listed in the Executive Order, are there any other American heroes who should be recognized in the National Garden of American heroes? Please list and describe any such individuals consistent with the order. 

 


Coronavirus Resources

  • COVID-19 Coronavirus testing sites can be found here
  • General information about the coronavirus can be found here
  • Information regarding COVID-19 Coronavirus in Tennessee can be found here
  • You can call the Tennessee Coronavirus Public Information Line from 10:00am to 10:00pm CT at 877.857.2945.
  • Information for cleaning and disinfecting your home when someone is sick can be found here

Stay In Touch

As a reminder, you can reach any of my six offices in Tennessee to share a concern or request assistance with a federal agency. 

Be sure to follow my work on behalf of Tennesseans on social media

Facebook: facebook.com/marshablackburn
Twitter: @MarshaBlackburn
Instagram: @MarshaBlackburn

My Best, 

 
Marsha


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