The House unanimously approved a bill on Wednesday that mandates the return of federal stimulus money designated for broadband development if officials find fraud, waste, or abuse.
"This legislation is a taxpayer protection measure and will ensure that our law is definitive and quick to reclaim funds if there is reason to terminate an award for reasons of waste, fraud or insufficient performance," the bill's sponsor, Rep. Charles Bass, R-N.H., said in a statement.
Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which previously passed the bill, didn't pass up the chance to cite the ongoing controversy over stimulus funds given to the green energy company Solyndra.
The House approved the bill with unanimous consent, despite grumbling from Democrats who said the measure was unnecessary.
"It is unclear why new legislation is necessary to ensure that this policy continues," Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said in a statement. Nevertheless, they said they supported the "very modest enhancements" made by the bill.
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