Here's why Vice President Kamala Harris is coming to Louisiana Friday
Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo are traveling to Louisiana Friday to highlight investments in high-speed internet through the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Act, a White House official confirmed to USA Today Network.
Harris and Raimondo will arrive in Lafayette before traveling to Sunset, a small town in St. Landry Parish, for the event.
They will be joined by Gov. John Bel Edwards.
“I am excited to welcome vice president Harris to Louisiana on Friday and am honored that the White House has chosen our state to highlight the importance of broadband connectivity to rural cities and towns during her visit," Edwards said in a statement.
"Communities all over Louisiana will benefit from increased investments in and attention to broadband connectivity," he said. "We are ready to embrace opportunities to bring this important internet infrastructure to areas that need it so that we can improve our economic competitiveness, educational opportunities and quality of life.”
The bipartisan Infrastructure Act includes $65 million to expand broadband access in underserved communities.
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Louisiana Republican U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy and New Orleans Democratic Congressman Troy Carter were the only members of Louisiana's congressional delegation to vote for the Infrastructure Act last year.
Cassidy was one of the architects of the bill, while Carter helped craft the language on the House Transportation Committee.
"It's wonderful to have the vice president come to Louisiana," Carter said. "Whenever the spotlight of the country is focused on our region it gives us the opportunity to bring more resources home to address our needs."
Harris has focused on expanding broadband access since she was in the Senate.
Last week the vice president announced more than 10 million households are enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Program within the Federal Communications Commission.
Harris co-sponsored the Accessible, Affordable, Broadband for All Act while in the Senate.
The Affordable Connectivity Program provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.
Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
Applications for the benefit can be made online at ACPBenefit.org.
Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1.