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Letter: Constitutional authority

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

I would like to respond to Sue Long’s question in her letter to the editor (“No answer,” Jan. 6 Readers Write). In her letter, she asks where our Constitution authorizes advocacy for government investment for broadband. Given my long-term support for broadband expansion for unserved and underserved populations in the area and throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, I am grateful for the opportunity to speak on this subject.

The Spending Clause of the U.S. Constitution (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1) gives Congress power to authorize spending for the “general welfare.” The Necessary and Proper Clause (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 18) supplements Congress’s spending authority, allowing Congress to specify how federal funds are used. Congress can use the Spending Power granted to it to accomplish things it could not do by direct regulation under the Commerce Clause (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3).

Thus, Congress is able to appropriate funds specifical...

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