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House Democrats' coronavirus response plan unveiled Monday would direct funding to pay for WiFi hotspots for students and bar broadband providers from imposing data caps during the crisis.

The big picture: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the legislation after Republicans and Democrats in the Senate failed to move their own stimulus measure forward.

Details: The House's $2.5 trillion "Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act" includes several provisions related to tech and telecom issues for the duration of the national emergency, including:

  • $2 billion for schools to pay for WiFi hotspots and connected devices including laptops or tablets for students in need.
  • $1 billion for an "emergency lifeline benefit" to aid low-income households in obtaining broadband service.
  • Codifying and expanding the Federal Communications Commission's "Keep Americans Connected Pledge," in which broadband providers promised not to terminate internet service because of inability to pay. The bill also would prohibit setting limits on the amount of data customers can use, outside of network management practices.
  • Empowering the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general to impose civil penalties in price-gouging cases related to the coronavirus pandemic.

A draft summary of the bill Senate Republicans are backing includes allocations of:

  • $200 million for an FCC telehealth program.
  • $25 million dedicated to rural distance learning, telemedicine, and broadband programs.

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.

Officials warn 5 key tech sectors will determine whether China overtakes U.S.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. intelligence officials responsible for protecting advanced technologies have narrowed their focus to five key sectors: artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology, semiconductors and autonomous systems.

Why it matters: China and Russia are employing a variety of legal and illegal methods to undermine and overtake U.S. dominance in these critical industries, officials warned in a new paper. Their success will determine "whether America remains the world’s leading superpower or is eclipsed by strategic competitors."