Rep. Ryan Sees Fed Responsibility in Digital Divide

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, believes that the Federal government needs to help state and local governments figure out how to bridge the digital divide as the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates a need to expand broadband to areas that don’t have it and to provide better services.

Speaking at the Adobe Government Symposium, Rep. Ryan offered that it’ll take a significant Federal investment to bridge the digital divide and that the government needs to update itself to meet the needs of the people.

“This is part of a broader conversation that we need to have – and not to go on too long about it – but I just think that the general narrative in the country since 1980 has been: ‘the government sucks; the government’s broke; the government can do nothing right’ and now here we are on the tail end of that narrative where we have not updated government,” Ryan said. “Government is not smart or efficient or working really in a way that looks a lot like 2020 … government is not a business, but you can really have efficiencies in government that look like business models.”

Rep. Ryan also discussed changes to Congress amid the pandemic, including having conversations around proxy voting for House members and that remote voting should be able to be figured out.

“It’s going to go on a lot longer they’re saying. There may be a second wave, third wave,” Ryan said. “How is that going to affect voting? I think there’s more incentive now to actually get something implemented and I would think over the course of the next few months we should have something solid to be able to implement.”

Jordan Smith
About Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.

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