WASHINGTON — That’s one way to “cell” a fee hike.
Unwilling to ask Congress for extra funds to pay for high-speed Internet connections in schools, President Obama is instead looking to tack yet another charge on cellphones through the Federal Communications Commission.
The new program, called ConnectED, would expand an existing school-wiring effort and cost each cellphone user about $5 a year, said White House officials.
In New York City, the ubiquitous mobile devices already carry 10 separate city, state and federal fees and charges — and that doesn’t include sales taxes.
Obama is relying on the fee hike to avoid dealing with a Congress that White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest yesterday described as “dysfunctional.”
“You would think that connecting schools to the information superhighway would be a pretty noncontroversial topic,” Earnest told reporters in Martha’s Vineyard, where the first family is on vacation.
“Unfortunately, we haven’t seen a lot of action in Congress, so the president has advocated an administrative, unilateral action to get this done.”
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