Butterfield Re-Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Improve Underprivileged Communities Access to Needed Electronic Equipment
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representatives G. K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) and Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) today introduced the Federal Electronic Equipment Donation (FEED) Act of 2011, bipartisan legislation that would streamline the process for sending excess federal electronic equipment to communities and groups in underserved regions of the country.
“Right now, communities that want to get federal surplus equipment face a mountain of red tape,” said Butterfield. “It can take months, if not years, to receive requested equipment. This important legislation will help underprivileged communities, like many of the communities I represent, access surplus computers, printers, audio/visual in a streamlined process.”
“It is unacceptable that our most underserved communities wait up to a year for surplus equipment due to federal bureaucracy,” said McHenry. “This legislation streamlines the government’s method of donating equipment to those in need, ensuring that our students are given timely access to the same technology afforded to federal employees.”
The bill directs federal agencies to transfer excess equipment to the General Services Administration for transfer to the qualifying recipient at little or no cost, giving preference to small cities, town, counties, schools, libraries and community-based educational non-profit organizations in poorer communities, which often have the greatest needs and the most difficulty in navigating the process and acquiring property. Butterfield first introduced the FEED Act in 2007 after learning of a city in his congressional district that was stymied by the arduous equipment request process. Although the bill passed the House with significant bipartisan support, it languished in the Senate.