In his sights is the fraud-riddled Lifeline program, otherwise known as the “Obamaphone program”.
Pai is, on his own, with supporting measures in Congress, planning to cut out waste, fraud and abuse in a program that mushroomed during the Obama presidency, according to Breitbart.
Created by the Reagan administration in 1985, Lifeline provides subsidized landline phone service to low-income families. It was expanded under the George W. Bush administration to add wireless service and popularized by massive outreach campaigns during President Barack Obama’s administration.
Program advocates now want to see it expanded to provide internet service — ObamaBroadband.
The left sees the Internet as a right!
Pai agrees with expansion of the program, but not at the expense of responsible spending. While still a commission member, prior to being named chairman by President Donald Trump in January, he disagreed with expansion because a spending cap was not in place.
The current annual budget is $2.25 billion. A bill now in Congress would cut that by almost half, setting the program spending cap at $1.5 billion, according to Axios.
Fraud is reportedly rampant in the program, and expansion requires that fraud be stopped.
A 2016 report of a $51 million fraud investigation of the program was not released until April 1, 2016, conveniently one day after the Democrat-heavy FCC was scheduled to vote on the expansion.
Pai was sharply critical of the timing of the report at the time, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
Now, he is in a position to keep the agency on budget.
The primary fraudster was Total Call Mobile, which enrolled fake Lifeline users by the tens of thousands, pocketing $9.7 million in federal subsidies. In true Democrat fashion, the Obama-led FCC pursued only a fraction of the identified cases, according to Breitbart.
In real money terms, the settlement should have been $84.2 million, not the $51 million in damages the FCC sought. Democrats don’t care, they like to give away our money.
We all remember the Obamaphone lady who made the program famous. By 2013, Michelle Dowery was on Infowars discussing her change of heart about Obama because she got a job and her salary was being eaten up by taxes.
h/t Bob Trent