President says malicious attacks pose "extraordinary" threat

President Trump has extended the cyber attack national emergency, which was declared by President Obama in April 2015 but would have terminated April 1, while elsewhere on the broadband front, the White House was promoting efforts by Republicans in Congress to further broadband infrastructure build outs, which the Administration has said are a priority in rural areas.

In December 2017, President Trump issued an executive order with added steps to address that cybersecurity emergency. 

"[S]ignificant malicious cyber-enabled activities continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States," said Trump, who Tuesday (March 27) extended the state of emergency for another year. He did not mention election security.

In an email touting the President's infrastructure plan, as reported in The Washington Times, the administration included a quote from House Communications Subcommittee chair Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who was also a member of the Trump transition team, billing her as "putting rural Americans first." 

“On the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, we’ve made great strides to close the digital divide and increase the expansion of broadband nationwide," said Blackburn. "The Communications and Technology Subcommittee, which I chair, has been working hard on a large broadband infrastructure package. … It is essential that we continue to find ways to increase access to broadband.” 

Related: Hill Dems Push $40 Billion in Direct Broadband Funding 

The President's plan is to allocate $50 billion to rural infrastructure and let the states decide whether they want to use any of it for rural broadband. Democrats have criticized the lack of funding earmarked for broadband, but the White House has defended the approach, which it is taking toward infrastructure investment in general, saying the states are free to use 100% of that money for broadband if they choose. 

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