U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Marco Rubio (R-FL), John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), introduced S. 744, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013,” on April 17, 2013.
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Pages 43 and 44 of the bill detail what one conservative blogger, Javier Manjarres of Shark Tank, has already described as the “ObamaPhone” from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). That section reads:
SEC. 1107. ACCESS TO EMERGENCY PERSONNEL.Interestingly, Tracphone, a company that will likely benefit from this type of government program, is based in Rubio’s Miami, Florida.
(a) SOUTHWEST BORDER REGION EMERGENCY COM- MUNICATIONS GRANTS.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary, in consultation with the governors of the States in the South- west Border region, shall establish a 2-year grant program, to be administered by the Secretary, to im- prove emergency communications in the Southwest Border region.
(2) ELIGIBILITY FOR GRANTS.—An individual is eligible to receive a grant under this subsection if the individual demonstrates that he or she—
(A) regularly resides or works in the Southwest Border region;
(B) is at greater risk of border violence due to the lack of cellular service at his or her residence or business and his or her proximity to the Southern border. (3) USE OF GRANTS.—Grants awarded under
this subsection may be used to purchase satellite telephone communications systems and service that—
(A) can provide access to 9–1–1 service;
(B) are equipped with global positioning systems.
(4) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.— There is authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out the grant program established under this subsection.