Negotiations for the next round of COVID-19 relief are paused in Congress this weekend, but there’s another bipartisan issue of concern to West Virginia’s Senators.

That’s connectivity.

Senator Joe Manchin (D) joined with his Republican colleague, Senator John Cornyn, to introduce the “ACCESS the Internet Act” this week.

It addresses the need for Internet access by requesting funding for telehealth and distance learning in rural areas. That includes expanding on the previous “Hotspots Act.”

Manchin explained how the new act can benefit West Virginians.

In all of our libraries, rural libraries of West Virginia, you as a citizen of that area can go and check out a hot spot to give you better connectivity, or give you connectivity for the first time so that you can do telehealth, or you can do distant learning, you can do your homework, things of that sort, same as you check out a book.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D)

Senator Manchin continues to reiterate that this is an issue with bipartisan support, and a necessity as COVID-19 forces more Americans to spend time online working and learning.