LITTLE ROCK (KTHV) - Republican Congressman Tim Griffin said he wants to end government issued cell phones to low-income and elderly individuals in an effort to stop rampant abuse of the program.
"Some people are getting two, three, four,10, 20, 30, 40 cell phones." said Congressman Griffin.
He says a few years back the government extended the program to provide not just land lines, but cell phone service.
The congressman said the program is being abused and people are even selling the phones. "I have a four year old that goes to a school here in Little Rock. She came home with an advertisement for a free cell phone in her backpack." said Congressman Griffin.
He says it is the Federal Universal Service Charge on your bill and goes into a fund regulated by the FCC.
"It started costing in the millions and now we're close to a billion dollars a year." said Congressman Griffin.
An Arkansan who did not want to be identified said she fears talk of an end to the service.
"That means that if... I have Cricket service now ...if my Cricket service is turned off then I have nothing to resort to." She said.
Democratic Senator Mark Pryor issued this statement: "The FCC needs to crack down on waste, fraud, and abuse within the system, but we also need to ensure that those in need have access to affordable phone service in case of emergencies."