iPhones Being Tested for Use by Congress

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iPhones could be a big part of the changes coming to Washington, DC in the post-George W. Bush era if a House Chief Administrative Office (CAO) test deems them suitable for use by members of congress and their staffs.

At the request of a number of congressional representatives, the CAO has begun testing a small number of iPhones within its ranks to see if they are compatible with the working needs of lawmakers and staff, according to a report at the Hill.com.

RIM’s Blacberry handhelds have been the communicator of choice in Washington since 2001 and today nearly 8,200 rely on a dedicated Blackberry exchange server to deliver email to people affiliated with the House of Representatives. “We’re trying [iPhones] out … because we heard a lot of people wanted the option to have them,” said Jeff Ventura, a spokesman for the CAO.

Should the iPhone become widely adopted after congress reconvenes in January, it will require costly investments including a new email server, in addition to the handsets themselves, funds for which would be required to come from the Member’s Representational Allowance, which is a government term for “paid for by taxpayers.”

Does your member of congress deserve an iPhone?

20 responses to “iPhones Being Tested for Use by Congress”

  1. dd says:

    Do they deserve an iPhone? No.

    Do I want them to get one anyway and help continue the iPhone infrastructure builds? Hell yeah! Let’s bring AAPL back up to $200 and then some.

  2. ABanks says:

    Nah, get a real phone with real security.

  3. BV says:

    Deserve? Who cares. The question is do they NEED an iPhone to which the answer is hell no.

  4. Luke says:

    No! they should stop spending billions on bailouts and frivolous corporate agendas. Maybe once they pay down the national debt do we give them the pleasure of owning an iPhone on our dime.

  5. Matt says:

    Fucking ridiculous.

  6. Daniel says:

    They’re not going to replace the blackberry. AT&T service is terrible in Washington DC, and the iPhone doesn’t work reliably at the places that Senators and Representatives need them. AT&T gets no signal on the Hill.

    As for the cost. Government budgets for the House and Senate are matters of public record. These people make decisions which affect the most powerful economy on earth, and you’re going to get upset over $400? Grow a sense of perspective.

  7. adrian says:

    OMG!!! I am not willing to pay for someone else’s iPhone… this is stupid!!!!

  8. AppBeacon says:

    They are going to have a “smart” phone (should the user of a “smart” phone have to be smart?) whether we want them to or not. They already are using/buying Blackberries.

    If they are going to go blow our money anyway, they might as well help out our favorite little technology company.

  9. Greg says:

    I think Congress should be using US tax-payer dollars to purchase phones from an American company (i.e., Apple), not ones from a foreign company (i.e., RIM).

  10. Stuart says:

    Maybe for Christmas Dear.