Pai Responds to Congressional Concerns
On July 23, 2018, FCC Chairman Pai responded to concerns raised by Members of Congress regarding the FCC transferring Universal Service Funds to the U.S. General Treasury. Pai had previously responded to similar concerns in April. The Members of Congress addressed Secretary Mnuchin and Chairman Pai, inquiring about procedures and safeguards that have been put in place by the Treasury and the FCC. Chairman Pai responded by saying that the “decision to transfer these taxpayer funds to a public account reduces risks associated with holding them outside the Treasury and applies to the Fund the same rigorous management practices and regulatory safeguards as applied to other federal programs.” Pai went on to argue that “…a potential lapse of appropriations will not impact Funds distributions....and the transfer of the Fund to the Treasury will not affect the programmatic use of the funds….”
In August 2017, Funds For Learning provided further background on the issue of the FCC moving USF Funds to the General Treasury and also came to the same conclusion that USF is a “permanent indefinite appropriation.” The FFL analysis can be viewed here. The July 23, FCC Chairman Pai’s Congressional Letter can be viewed here.