A group of four Midwestern senators today launched a Bipartisan Senate Rural Working Group.
The group aims to identify successful ideas and partnerships to spur efforts to restore economic prosperity in rural communities. The four senators are Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin, Tina Smith, D-Minnesota, Mike Rounds, R-South Dakota, and Deb Fischer, R-Nebraska.
“At a time when you often only hear about the economic hardship in rural communities, I’ve been inspired by the spirit, resilience, and ingenuity of the people I’ve met in rural areas of Minnesota," Sen. Smith said. "I was so inspired that I decided to create a bipartisan Senate group aimed at highlighting what’s working in rural America, and I’m pleased to be joined by my colleagues and dozens of advocates who share that same goal.”
“Rural communities can’t be left behind and Washington must do a better job of helping them move forward," Sen. Baldwin said. "We need to do more to support the family farmers that drive the rural economy forward.”
“The heartland is not flyover country. It’s full of wonderful, selfless people who help feed and fuel the world. Those of us who live in rural America already know this, but we need to show Washington that our families, communities, innovators, and businesses are worth the investment," Sen. Fischer said. "I am excited to participate in this bipartisan working group to develop solutions for rural America.”
“The Bipartisan Rural Working Group seeks to address the unique challenges facing rural areas, including reliable energy sources, adequate rural water systems, safe roads and bridges and access to services such as high-speed internet, essential air service, quality education, health care and lending services,” Sen. Rounds said.
At today’s meeting, advocates from a variety of different issues areas—including education, health care, agriculture, and housing—shared priorities for a stronger rural economy.