Rose-backed Bill to Protect First Responder Communications Passes House

Press Release

By: Max Rose
By: Max Rose
Date: Sept. 23, 2020
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Infrastructure

Congressman Max Rose helped pass through the House of Representatives today the Don't Break up the T-Band Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation of which he's a cosponsor that would repeal a provision of a 2012 law that directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to auction the T-band spectrum (470-512 MHz) by 2021.

"We've seen in times of absolute chaos, crisis, and times of emergency just how critical communication is between our first responders and emergency personnel," Rose said. "Unfortunately the spectrum that New York City's cops, firefighters, and first responders depend on is about to be auctioned off to the highest bidder--public safety be damned. That's wrong and doing so would hinder the ability to respond quickly and properly in times when things are scariest. I'm proud to see this pass with such broad, bipartisan support and see no reason why the Senate won't quickly do the same."

Emergency personnel in major metropolitan areas across the United States use the T-band spectrum for emergency public safety communication. It allows first responders to communicate even when cell towers, electricity or the internet are down, and allows communication deep underground in tunnels or inside concrete buildings. Agencies across the country have invested millions of local, state, and federal dollars in the T-band networks, and the result is reliable coverage and regional interoperability that first responders rely on to keep us safe.

Rose proudly supports the brave men and women of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) who risk their lives every day to keep our city safe and has strongly opposed efforts to defund police. Rose recently co-led an amendment with Congressman Anthony Brindisi to double federal funding to recruit, hire, train and fund more community beat cops on the streets of New York City and in communities across the country through the Department of Justice (DOJ) COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) Hiring Program (CHP).

As chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism, Rose has worked tirelessly to ensure that law enforcement has the support it needs from the federal government to do its job. Following a bipartisan push by Rose, Congress passed legislation to increase funding for critical counterterrorism programs of which New York City relies upon by $90 million over previous funding levels.

After successfully securing an increase in funding for law enforcement mental health grants last year, Congressman Max Rose sponsored an amendment which was passed the House of Representatives to further increase funding by 50 percent for the upcoming fiscal year.