ICYMI: Kemp Touts Broadband Funding from Democrats’ American Rescue Plan He and Republicans Opposed

August 12, 2022

Kemp announced broadband grant “without mentioning it will be paid for with federal COVID-19 relief money”

Today, despite vocally opposing Democrats’ American Rescue Plan last year, Gov. Brian Kemp announced millions of dollars for rural broadband improvements using funds from the bill. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that Kemp touted the grant “without mentioning it will be paid for with federal COVID-19 relief money.” 

After Kemp called Democrats’ American Rescue Plan “a slap in the face to hardworking Georgians” and urged Georgia’s U.S. Senators to block it, ARP funds have since gone to everything from water and sewer improvements and other broadband projects to funding to help small businesses recover from the pandemic and bonuses for first responders – all while Kemp refuses to acknowledge that these vital projects are made possible thanks to Democrats’ American Rescue Plan, and no thanks to the unanimous opposition of Georgia Republicans.

Learn more at KempDoesntCare.com

“Brian Kemp’s hypocrisy is on full display as he once again tries to take credit for a relief bill that only passed thanks to Democratic support and which he and Republicans vehemently opposed,” said Max Flugrath, spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “If Kemp and the GOP had gotten their way, Georgia wouldn’t have received a cent of this critical funding. In November, voters will remember that while Georgia Democrats brought crucial infrastructure investments to our state, Kemp and Republicans – as usual – stood in the way.”

Earlier this year, Georgia Democrats released a new website to hold Kemp accountable on his opposition to the American Rescue Plan and his efforts to try and take credit for all it delivered to Georgia: KempDoesntCare.com

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Kemp plows more federal COVID relief money into rural broadband

  • Gov. Brian Kemp on Friday announced another $240 million grant program to provide high-speed internet in rural Georgia, although he did so without mentioning it will be paid for with federal COVID-19 relief money.
  • The state has received $4.8 billion from the COVID relief package passed by congressional Democrats in March 2021 over opposition from Republicans.
  • Kemp, a Republican up for re-election this year, was critical of the package as well. He has made criticism of Democratic President Joe Biden one of the cornerstones of his campaign against Stacey Abrams.
  • Under Georgia law, the governor has sole discretion over how the federal COVID money is spent.
  • Earlier this year, Kemp announced grants for water and sewer improvements, for high-speed internet projects and money to help businesses and nonprofits better recover from the economic impact of the COVID pandemic.
  • Kemp also used some of the money to provide bonuses for first responders, such as law enforcement officers and firefighters.
  • Lawmakers have been working for years to come up with ways to get more high-speed internet to rural Georgia. The lack of broadband services was highlighted during the early days of the COVID pandemic, when schools were shut down and remote learning became the norm.
  • Kemp on Friday announced that $240 million – on top of an earlier $400 million allocated – would go toward expansion of high-speed internet “through the Capital Projects Fund Grant Program,” which is what the state is calling its federally funded COVID relief effort.
  • “Whether you own a small business in rural Georgia, run a farm that utilizes precision agriculture technology, or have children that need to do their homework, the expansion of high-speed internet impacts all Georgians,” said Kemp, whose political base is in rural Georgia.
  • Companies or communities seeking the money can apply through Kemp’s Office of Planning and Budget.
  • The governor said by the end of his term the state – aided heavily by the federal government – will have invested nearly $1 billion to expand high-speed internet.


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