Opening Statements of Committee Members

Opening Statement of Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY)

Hearing on Satelite Loan Guarantees and Rural Television Service
10:00 a.m., Tuesday, February 1, 2000

I would like to thank all of the witnesses for testifying today and I would like to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing.

Obviously, satellite television has become more and more popular throughout our country. It is very important in states with large rural populations like Kentucky.

In many parts of Kentucky, it is virtually impossible to receive a broadcast television signal. Cable companies do not serve many of these rural areas. Many in my state are forced to rely on satellite television to receive the news of the day, weather reports, entertainment and most importantly, UK basketball.

It is very important that we hold this hearing to help decide what is the best way to ensure that folks in rural areas of Kentucky have the same access to media that people in Lexington or Louisville have.

I am definitely interested in learning about the new technologies. I am also very interested in learning about the industries' thoughts about the federal loan guarantees that caused so much controversy at the end of the first session of this Congress. Obviously we have a big job ahead of us in finding a solution to this problem that everyone can live with before March 30 of this year. I believe all of our witnesses testimony will help us find an answer.

I thank you again for coming before us today and I look forward to your testimony.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.