More than 80 groups representing a coalition of public interest, civil rights, faith-based, media justice and community organizations sent a letter urging the House and Senate Commerce Committees to continue their support of the government’s Lifeline program, which subsidizes basic phone service for low-income individuals.

The coalition sent the letter on Sept. 12 as part of Lifeline Awareness Week.

The letter notes that Lifeline enables vulnerable populations — veterans, seniors, the disabled, rural residents, people of color and struggling families — to more meaningfully participate in our society by gaining access to economic opportunities and critical emergency services.

“People need affordable communications services to connect to the outside world for job opportunities, medical services, educational advancement, and civic participation,” the coalition’s letter states.

The group sent the letter to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Rockefeller and Ranking Member Sen. John Thune, as well as House Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton and Ranking Member Rep. Henry Waxman.

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