McMorris Rodgers Introduces Legislation to Expedite Restoration of Wireless Communications in Wake of Devastating Wildfires

Washington, D.C. (February 17, 2021) – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) yesterday introduced the Wildfire Wireless Resiliency Act to speed up projects to replace or improve wireless communications facilities damaged during a wildfire.

“The devastating wildfires in Eastern Washington have left families and workers without reliable access to the internet. This has prevented hundreds of individuals from accessing vital health care, remote work, and economic resources, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only amplified these challenges,” said Rodgers. “Unreliable internet and limited broadband access has also set countless children back in school because of connectivity issues while far too many schools remain closed. It’s unacceptable and hurting the next generation. My goal in introducing this bill is to restore and improve the wireless communications that are fundamental to our everyday life in Eastern Washington and across the country.”

The Wildfire Wireless Resiliency Act creates a categorical exclusion from the National Environmental Policy Act and National Historic Preservation Act that allows for the expedited rebuilding or improving of broadband infrastructure that was damaged or destroyed by a wildfire. This exclusion is specific to damaged infrastructure within areas where the state’s governor has declared a natural disaster, and it applies for up to five years following the declaration.

As Lead Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, Cathy introduced her bill as part of the committee’s Boosting Broadband Connectivity Agenda. This larger package, which Cathy unveiled yesterday, includes 28 bills to turbocharge public and private investment by promoting new and upgraded infrastructure deployments, boosting competition, streamlining permitting processes, facilitating broadband deployment on federal lands, and closing the digital divide in both rural and urban areas.    

Click here to read the bill: LINK

Recent Posts

McMorris Rodgers Introduces Bill Expanding Service Opportunities for Disability Community

Washington, D.C. – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) reintroduced the Hannah Cvancara Service Act (H.R. 7405) to empower individuals with a non-service-connected amputation to serve the United States Armed Forces as medical personnel. This legislation was inspired by Hannah Cvancara, a Spokane resident who suffered a childhood amputation that disqualified her from serving […]

McMorris Rodgers, Cantwell Applaud Approval of Disaster Declaration for Spokane County Following Devastating Wildfires

Washington, D.C. – Today, President Joe Biden declared that a major disaster exists in Spokane County and ordered federal assistance to supplement recovery efforts in the aftermath of the Gray Fire and the Oregon Road Fire in August 2023. After the announcement, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) and U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) […]

Feb 15, 2024

McMorris Rodgers Helps Pass Bipartisan Bill to Block President Biden’s LNG Export Ban, Unleash American Energy

Washington D.C. – Today, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) helped the House of Representatives pass the Unlocking Our Domestic LNG Potential Act (H.R. 7176) to reverse President Biden’s American liquified natural gas (LNG) export ban. She released the following statement after the vote: “The President’s decision to impose a ban on new permits […]