7:24 PM EDT
Sheila Jackson-Lee, D-TX 18th

Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, I thank the distinguished chairman. My amendment had very well founded and grounded intentions, and that is in this massive effort, the hard work of this committee, the fine leadership of Mr. Dingell and Mr. Markey, fine leadership of Mr. Barton and Mr. Rush, all focus on greater opportunities. And so this amendment was to provide greater opportunity for, in fact, the small businesses, minority-owned businesses, women-owned businesses, businesses

in rural areas to access, if you will, the broadband, the DSL, but opportunities to be a franchisee, if you will, and be able to have small entities that would be part of this massive reformation of this system.

So this was an effort to draw upon the funding for a particular programmatic provision in the legislation and to allow the small companies to pay less fees so they could be competitive enough to engage in what I think is a very, very important business.

I hope that as we make our way through this process of legislation and as we make our way to the Senate, we [Page: H3571]

will be reminded of language specifically that could ensure the energy of small businesses to be created. Someone gave me a terminology, I hope I have it correct, but the productivity of technology or the expansion of technology amongst many, many different groups and specifically the women-owned disadvantaged and small businesses. However, I am

also aware of the fact that the peg programming supports stations like Access Houston and covers programming for issues dealing with women and minorities. So I am particularly sensitive to that issue.

Even with that in mind I do not want to eliminate, if you will, eliminate the opportunity for small businesses with this massive reformation of this broadband and DSL system as we move forward with this legislation.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.