Claire McCaskill
12:12 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

McCaskill expresses outrage over government phone program

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)  is expressing outrage at the Lifeline government phone program operated by the Federal Communications Commission. The program provides free cell phones to low income people who qualify for welfare and food stamps.

McCaskill says that no one is making sure that people don’t receive more than one phone and there is no way to keep people from selling them.

The democrat says there appears to be no accountability between Lifeline and those distributing the phones.

“These people are pushing the phones out the door in ways that are wildly irresponsible,” said McCaskill during a conference call with reporters Wednesday. “They are not doing the kind of basic accounting and controls that has to occur and I’m determined to put a stop to it.”

McCaskill says she received a solicitation at the building she lives in in D.C., and says she can guarantee no one who lives there would qualify for a phone under the program.

According to the FCC website, the program is funded by telecommunications service providers who are required to contribute to the federal Universal Service Fund. The providers usually pass along the charges to consumers.