High-speed Internet in schools up next for Obama’s ‘pen and phone’ push
February 2nd, 2014
06:32 PM ET
2 months ago

High-speed Internet in schools up next for Obama’s ‘pen and phone’ push

Washington (CNN) - Getting high-speed internet into more of America’s classrooms is President Obama’s next priority, his chief of staff said Sunday, as Republicans continued to question the White House’s tactic of bypassing Congress by using executive actions.

The initiative, which involved securing hundreds of millions of dollars from private telecom and technology firms, will be announced at an event Tuesday. It comes as the Federal Communications Commission also redoubles its efforts to connect American students to high-speed internet.

During his State of the Union address, Obama lauded the step as a “down payment” on advancing education in 15,000 schools that could be wired under his plan. He said 20 million students would benefit from the technology “without adding a dime to the deficit.”

“That's the kind of education he wants kids to have,” Denis McDonough said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday.

The companies Obama mentioned included Apple, Microsoft, Sprint and Verizon.

It’s the second partnership with private businesses the White House has touted since last week’s State of the Union address. On Friday, Obama announced that 300 firms had pledged to help get people unemployed for longer than six months back to work by eliminating screens against them in their hiring processes.

The effort is part of Obama’s attempt to use executive action to advance his agenda – or, as the White House terms it, using his “pen and phone.”

Republicans have harshly criticized the tactic, saying it’s ignoring the people elected to create policy.

“We have an increasingly lawless presidency where he is actually doing the job of Congress, writing new policies and new laws, without going through Congress,” Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican House Budget Committee chairman, said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“Presidents don’t write laws. Congress does,” he said.


Filed under: Education • President Obama
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    This GOP can not deny. USA needs education–not WARS. WARS BROKE THIS NATION TO GROUND.
    PS: I am glad cnn fixed this post box underneath. All comments to better democracy.

    February 2, 2014 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  2. jpmichigan

    What is very clear to many American taxpayer, that this President does not abide by the oath of office that he has taken. That oath states he will abide by and defend the Constitution, same applies to many in Congress. A war was found to take away the control of American colonies by dictatorship rule by Kings, this is why the Constitution was written to establish just and democratic United States of America. One can see why the Tea Party wants USA to rethink and redo what is happening to the USA.

    February 2, 2014 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  3. jpmichigan

    American people trust in what our fore fathers wrote and believed in, THE CONSTITUTION. To state one will abide by and defend it , only to make a 180 and do the opposite., is not right or should it be legal.

    February 2, 2014 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  4. jpmichigan

    Truth does not prevail !!!!!

    February 2, 2014 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Lyin' Ryan should allow Obama to catch up with the number of Bush's executive orders before the wingnut starts spouting off his stupidity. What a dipstick, but it does incite the brain dead.

    February 2, 2014 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  6. HenryMiller

    "High-speed Internet in schools up next for Obama’s ‘pen and phone’ push"

    Oh? Under what article, section, and clause of the Constitution is the Executive given the power to do that?

    February 2, 2014 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  7. BeenThereDoneThat

    Obama's doing now what FDR did in the '30s: Getting Things Done for the American people DESPITE a recalcitrant Congress!

    February 2, 2014 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  8. Sullyday

    A tax was enacted under Bill Clinton on our cell phones, sometimes called the Al Gore tax, to insure that every school and library in the U.S. has internet coverage and the computers to go with it. The 10's of billions that have collected are way way more than necessary. If the current administration is looking for more money for the same purpose, the $billions have gone down some rat hole. Doesn't anybody pay attention?

    February 2, 2014 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  9. BeenThereDoneThat

    @Paul Ryan: "...he is actually doing the job of Congress..."
    GOOD! Do-nothing Congress ISN'T doing the job of Congress!

    February 2, 2014 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  10. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Helping school children? Lets watch the GOP kill this too.

    February 2, 2014 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  11. BeenThereDoneThat

    Obama was too smart for McConnell to make him a "one-term president" & he's too smart for a useless, limp-rag Congress!

    February 2, 2014 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  12. Mightyduk

    And the republicans will complain saying this money would be better spent on tax cuts for the 1% or increase oil company subsidies.

    February 2, 2014 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  13. d

    High speed internet from the people who brought us a glitchy healthcare website? Where do I not sign up?

    February 2, 2014 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  14. Smitty

    Cant even get a web site open and now he wants to pollute the schools, has any body else noticed, whatever he tries ends up a disaster ??? Solyndra ?? Oblunder care ??? IRS ??? Stimulus??? Ill close gitmo ??? This dude couldn't pick a winner if he had too.

    February 2, 2014 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  15. Harold Read

    Obama can't even get the Obamacare website running on budget or on schedule, how do you expect him to get Internet to schools?
    - Contracted to Canadians instead of Americans?
    - project horribly over budget?
    - deadlines that constantly move when he fails?

    February 2, 2014 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  16. Kadmiel Saintange

    Sadly, when congress only serves the special interest of lobbyists and the elitists in America, then it's the President who have to do without the out of touch congress to pass laws! I just find it funny how there's a lot of americans dealing with poverty but plenty of wealthy politicians representing those group of people.......I'm a republican but i'm rooting for Obama because he is going against the status quo and disregarding the dysfunctional corporate loving congress that does nothing for ACTUAL americans

    February 2, 2014 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  17. Thomas

    Why can't we have high speed internet like Holland ?

    Why can't we have Healthcare like Germany ?

    Why can't we have a railway thats fast and Reliable like Japan ?

    Maybe Mitt Romney can tell us , it must be about the bottom line.

    February 2, 2014 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  18. J.V.Hodgson

    Hello CNN, the last two paragraphs are irrelevant comments . He' not passing laws here just using the office president to cajole corporate America to contribute to improving kids education same with the non screening out of job applicants who are unemployed.
    If this is lawlessness I fail to see how??
    Regards,
    Hodgson

    February 3, 2014 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  19. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    November comes quickly for our deadbeat Congress. Americans are watching.

    February 3, 2014 07:32 am at 7:32 am |