Hospitalized youngsters such as the one at left would have been among those hurt had Congress persisted in an effort to cut schools and libraries out of one of the Commerce Department’s largest telecommunications funding programs.

But lawmakers nixed the cuts just before Congress shut down for the summer.

Days before the August recess, the Senate passed a Commerce spending amendment that would allow schools and libraries to apply for funds from the Telecommunications Information Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP) after all.

The Commerce committee originally had voted in early July to prohibit organizations eligible for eRate funding from applying for TIIAP funds, arguing that money from TIIAP and the eRate cover the same expenses.