On December 16, 2011, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012, an act which consolidates remaining appropriations bills into a combined piece of legislation in order to keep the federal government running for the upcoming fiscal year. Included in the bill is an amendment that continues to exempt Universal Service from the Anti-Deficiency Act (ADA) until December 31, 2013. It is anticipated that President Obama will sign the bill later this week.
Each year since 2004, Congress has exempted the program from the Anti-Deficiency Act in order for USAC to be able to release funding waves at a much faster rate. This marks the first year where Congress has exempted the E-rate program from the ADA for a two year period.