Rep. Giffords inspires mobile communications legislation

Even from her recovery facility in Texas, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., is continuing to leave her mark on the halls of Congress.

ABC News reports that Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, introduced legislation Thursday to improve cellular service near the U.S.-Mexico border at the request of Giffords' office. Giffords was preparing to introduce the legislation at the start of the 112th Congress before she was shot in the head in Tucscon on Jan. 8.

The legislation, called the "Southern Borderlands Public Safety Communications Act," would authorize grant funding through the Department of Homeland Security for public-private partnerships to better develop mobile communications near the border.

Poe told ABC News that Giffords was inspired to introduce the legislation after one of her constituents was murdered by Mexican drug smugglers who came onto his property after he was unable to get cell phone service and call 9-1-1.

President Obama has also sought to improve mobile communications by calling for a National Wireless Initiative that aims to provide 98 percent of Americans with access to high-speed internet.