CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Wednesday, September 7, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 5537, the Digital GAP Act, under suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on June 21, 2016, by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, which ordered the bill reported, as amended, on July 14, 2016 by voice vote.
H.R. 5537 codifies and promotes many of the guiding principles and practices of the federal government’s efforts to promote internet access in developing countries. Specifically, the legislation:
Since 2005, the number of internet users has more than tripled from 1,000,000,000 to 3,200,000,000. Currently, internet access in developing countries is hampered by a lack of infrastructure and a poor regulatory environment for investment. Approximately 4.2 billion, 60% of the world’s population, remain offline and the growth rate of internet access is slowing. An estimated 75% of the offline population lives in just 20 countries and is largely rural, female, elderly, illiterate, and low-income.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that enacting H.R. 5537 would cost less than $500,000 over the 2017-2021 period, subject to the availability of appropriated funds. Enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues, and so pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. Further, CBO estimates implementing H.R. 5537 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.
For questions or further information please contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.