U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge will push for the federal government to build new schools and expand rural Internet access.
A former state schools superintendent, he argued that the federal government should spend more building schools, a task typically left to state and local government.
"I think you will see that as part of a broader package hopefully we will bring out early next year," he told Dome. "Number one, to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure from schools to roads to bridges to highways to water and sewer, but more importantly to put people back to work."
He also said he would push to extend fiber optic cable in rural America to boost Internet access.
"That really is the highway of the 21st century," he said. "Unless you have access to that highway in rural America, you really aren't able to get on the Interstate. It is critical that we (expand fiber optic cable) all across America. We did it in the '20s and '30s for telephones and rural electrification. I think the time has come now when we need to do the same thing for high-speed Internet."
Etheridge said he envisions public-private partnerships, but he did not yet have an opinion on what role the government should then play in providing Internet services.
Listen to a podcast with Etheridge here.