Rep. Duffy: Rural Relief Initiative Aims to Bring Parity Back to Rural Communities
According to an in-depth analysis conducted by the Wall Street Journal, among the four major U.S. population groupings, rural communities now rank last on many key measures of socioeconomic well-being. These measures include:
- college attainment
- teenage births
- death rates from heart disease and cancer
- reliance on federal disability insurance
- and male labor-force participation
The need for comprehensive rural relief has never been greater than it is today.
Rural communities have been overshadowed by inner cities for decades, but the divide between rural and urban America has seen an increased need for attention since the onset of the financial crisis.
While urban areas boast a 4.8% increase in employment since 2008, rural areas have not been so fortunate. Relative to 2008, rural America has seen a 2.4% decrease in employment, stifling economic growth and recovery in areas that sorely need it.
And yet despite these widely recognized disparities, rural populations on average receive significantly less help from the federal government – a trend that clearly drew the attention of voters in Middle America during the 2016 election. In 2009, federal spending in rural counties was $285 less per person than in urban counties. By 2010, that gap had more than doubled to $683 per person.
These are millions of people who have been forgotten by Washington. Fortunately, we have a unique opportunity to enact federal policies to help rural Americans get back on their feet. Last November, millions of rural voters across the nation spoke with a unified voice at the ballot box. As a result of Republican victories up and down the ballot, there is now momentum to propose and message legislation that specifically helps those who have been left behind in rural America.
The Rural Relief Initiative aims to bring parity back to the millions of Americans who have fallen through the cracks. These Americans may have been neglected by the last Administration, but will not be ignored by us. The members of these hardworking families are the backbone of our nation’s economy and the embodiment of the American spirit. We must make it a priority to ensure that their voices receive the same consideration that urban areas enjoy.
The Rural Relief Initiative was recently profiled in The Wall Street Journal.
CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO of Congressman Sean Duffy Introducing Initial Rural Relief Initiative Legislation