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Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ). Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images.

Democratic lawmakers demanded more transparency Friday into how the Federal Communications Commission is doling out $200 million in coronavirus telehealth funding.

Why it matters: The FCC has awarded about half the money, but lawmakers want to know more about health care providers whose applications have not yet been approved.

Details: In a letter to FCC chairman Ajit Pai, House Energy & Commerce Committee chairman Frank Pallone and communications subcommittee chairman Mike Doyle ask the agency to provide a public docket on its website by June 19 with all the applications it has received for funding from the COVID-19 Telehealth Program.

  • The agency should provide weekly updates on which applications have been approved, the dates funds were disbursed and a summary of any uses or devices that were not approved for reimbursement, the lawmakers said.
  • "We have heard reports that many health care providers are facing issues obtaining funds, particularly those serving tribal lands," the lawmakers wrote. "Similarly, health care providers report they have been unable to receive funding for some important telehealth equipment that we believe should be covered under the law."

What they're saying: The FCC has been providing weekly updates on the funding applications that have been approved, along with details of the telehealth projects, an agency spokesperson noted.

  • "Going forward, our focus has been and must continue to be on processing all of the applications quickly and carefully, an effort that could be undercut if we turn our attention to creating a new system for posting pending applications," the spokesperson said in a statement.
  • The FCC said this week it has approved nearly $105 million for 305 health care providers across 42 states and Washington, D.C.

Go deeper

Aug 20, 2020 - Technology

Former government officials argue for a new tech agency

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The government should establish a new Digital Platform Agency to regulate major tech firms, three Democratic former federal officials argue in a new paper from Harvard's Shorenstein Center shared first with Axios.

Why it matters: This is the latest proposal being offered up as policymakers weigh possible methods of reining in Big Tech beyond rewriting antitrust laws or taking a gamble on enforcement action under existing ones.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
28 mins ago - Economy & Business

The Fed could be firing up economic stimulus in disguise

Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard at a "Fed Listens" event. Photo: Eric Baradat / AFP via Getty Images.

Even as global growth expectations increase and governments pile on fiscal spending measures central bankers are quietly restarting recession-era bond-buying programs.

Driving the news: Comments Tuesday from Fed governor Lael Brainard suggest the Fed may be jumping onboard the global monetary policy rethink and restarting a program used following the 2008 global financial crisis.

Democrats' hypocrisy moment

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo should be facing explicit calls to resign from President Biden on down, if you apply the standard that Democrats set for similar allegations against Republicans. And it's not a close call.

Why it matters: The #MeToo moment saw men in power run out of town for exploiting young women. Democrats led the charge. So the silence of so many of them seems more strange — and unacceptable by their own standards — by the hour.