Today, the House Agriculture Committee will markup their piece of the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package that includes more than $18 billion for rural prosperity, water and energy programs and an historic $40 billion for forestry programs over the next decade.
Included in the details released yesterday by House Democrats is a new $4 billion “Rural Partnership Program” championed by Rep. Antonio Delgado, Rep. Cheri Bustos, and Rep. Angie Craig that’s focused on giving local, rural experts the tools they need to leverage federal funds to bring good paying jobs to their communities.
The following is a statement from Matt Hildreth, Executive Director of RuralOrganizing.Org:
Today marks another important step forward for rural Americans.
The American Rescue Plan marked the biggest investment in rural America in decades. The Budget Reconciliation package is shaping up to be another commitment to communities that have been ignored and overlooked for too long.
To ensure that this money has a maximum impact, RuralOrganizing.org and our colleagues have been advocating for a strategic program to unlock federal funding for small towns and rural communities.
President Joe Biden and Congressional Democrats appear to be doing that with the investment in the “Rural Partnership Program (RPP).” At the core of the new $4 billion rural Partnership Program are two new grant programs called “Rural Prosperity Development Grants’ and “Rural Innovation Grants.” Combined with the other investments from the ARP and budget package, these programs will help reduce poverty and increase homegrown prosperity in small towns and rural communities. It is a very welcome development.
We look forward to working with the White House and Democrats in the House and Senate to insure passage of the $3.5 trillion package. There is so much in this vital legislation that will change lives for the better across the country - and, for a change, rural America isn’t being left behind.
“The mission of RuralOrganizing.org is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. Follow us on Twitter @RuralOrganizing.”