Newhouse introduces PHONE Act for survivors of natural disasters

Photo Credit: KAPP-KVEW
Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington's 4th Congressional District is pictured.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Representative Dan Newhouse of Washington’s fourth congressional district was one of the public servents to introduce the Preserving Home and Office Numbers in Emergencies (PHONE) Act of 2021.

This bipartisan act is backed by Rep. Newhouse and Mike Thompson — Representative of California’s 5th Congressional District.

Rep. Newhouse had this to say in regards to his support of this act:

“The people of Central Washington and communities across the West understand the challenges of rebuilding after a natural disaster like a catastrophic wildfire,” Rep. Newhouse said. “I’m proud to introduce this legislation to ensure that families, homeowners, businesses, and farmers can remain connected to the people and resources they need to get back on their feet after a natural disaster.”

Previously, Rep. Newhouse stood by a previous version of the PHONE ACT that was introduced during the 116th Congress in late-September of 2020. That act was based unanimously by the House of Representatives.

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Ultimately, the PHONE Act is meant to help those impacted by wildfires to rebuild. It would place an automatic one-year freeze on “residential wireline phone number reassignment following a major disaster declaration.” In essence, the PHONE Act will allow individuals impacted by natural disasters to maintain access to the resources needed to rebuild their lives.

It will require states to coordinate with FEMA and intense cooperation from wireline service providers.

“Disaster survivors who lost their homes face a daunting process with miles of red tape and they deserve as much assistance from the Federal government as possible,” Rep. Thompson said. “After I heard that local disaster survivors in our district were having trouble keeping their phone numbers while they rebuilt their homes, I knew Congress needed to do something,”

You can click here to read the full text of this bill.

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