Joint Economic Committee Dems release report on rural America
June 21, 2018
Senate and House Democrats on the Joint Economic Committee on Wednesday released a report, "Investing in Rural America," on the needs of rural America and promised to push congress to invest more in rural areas.
In a call to reporters, Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., the ranking Democrat on the committee, said, "Many rural communities are still recovering from the Great Recession, more than 10 years after it hit us. Millions of rural residents lack reliable access to broadband. The rural population is aging and shrinking, and wages have been stuck for too long. But rather than run from these challenges, we need to tackle them head on."
Heinrich said rural communities are leading the way in renewable energy production, outdoor recreation opportunities and boast some of the smallest class sizes and highest levels of parent engagement in K-12 education.
But he said there needs to be more investment in infrastructure, construction and maintenance of roads and bridges and increased access to early learning and post-secondary school options.
"But to turn ideas into action and to improve the lives of the 46 million Americans who live in rural communities, we will need bipartisan efforts," Heinrich said. "I hope this report can serve as a spark, to attract folks on both sides of the aisle to invest in rural communities."
Heinrich also released a video in which he discussed his own youth in rural New Mexico and the needs of rural communities to thrive in the 21st century.
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In a news release on the Joint Economic Committee website, Heinrich said that Republicans have failed rural America.
The committee was created when Congress passed the Employment Act of 1946. Under this act, Congress established two advisory panels: the President's Council of Economic Advisers and the Joint Economic Committee. Their primary tasks are to review economic conditions and to recommend improvements in economic policy.