Vitter & Tracfone CEO Meet

June 25, 2013 | Updated: 12:10 a.m., June 26, 2013

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Senator David Vitter has made it no secret that he wants to end the Lifeline Program which provides cell phone to low-income people.  Over the past few weeks, Vitter has revealed video that he says proves the phones are sometimes sold for money or even traded for drugs rather than used to help their original recipients.

Tuesday, Vitter took his complaints directly to the CEO of TracFone, the company that provided the phones.

According to a statement from Vitter’s office, he told CEO  F.J. Pollack that he’s committed to ending the program and asked him to return all money it has received, “…from the waste, fraud and abuse coming from the program.”

The statement does not include any responses from Pollack.  WGNO News has contacted TracFone and hopes to have Pollack’s response to the meeting soon.

But judging from the following portion of the statement, the tone of the meeting could have been pretty tense.



“TracFone is upset because I’m fighting to end this program, which would also end their corporate welfare,” Vitter said. “The program was created to expand access to landline service for low-income households, but unfortunately it’s expanded far beyond its original intent. Now it’s an out-of-control, fraud-ridden entitlement program that spoils what should be a worthwhile helping hand.”


According to Vitter, the Lifeline Program was created in 1984 to provide landline service for low-income people.  He says mobile phone service was added in 2008, bringing the cost of the program from $143 million that year to $2 billion in 2012.