Skip to main content

This week, Republican Senators Vote Against Rural Businesses while Republican House Members Vote Against Rural Families

This week, Republican Senators Vote Against Rural Businesses while Republican House Members Vote Against Rural Families

This week, 43 Republican Senators Voted To Block Legislation to “provide COVID relief for restaurants, gyms, minor league sports teams, border businesses, live venue service providers, exclave businesses, and providers of transportation services.” 

On the other side of the Capitol, every House Republican member of Congress voted against “Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act,” which would help  while 192 House Republicans voted “Infant Formula Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022,” which addresses the current formula shortage.

The following is a statement from Matt Hildreth, Executive Director of Rural Organizing:

Republicans are showing us - again - that despite all their rhetoric, they do not prioritize the needs of their rural constituents.   Our top priorities have been to increase wages for small businesses while prioritizing small, local businesses, which includes many family owned restaurants, and to decrease daily expenses for rural families. Those are our priorities because that is what we hear from people living in rural America all the time. Yet, those are not the priorities for Republican lawmakers in DC. Not even close. This week alone, instead of meeting the needs of their rural constituents, Republican lawmakers, many of whom represent large rural constituencies, vote against those needs. Republicans either  don’t  understand or care that these are rural issues where rural people need support from Congress. Based on their track records, I’m going with don’t care.

It should be shocking but it’s par for the course. Lots of talk from Republicans, little action. Fortunately, Democrats on Capitol Hill continue to put the needs of their constituents first - and that includes rural constituents.  

The following is a statement by Annie Contractor, Policy Research Analyst with RuralOrganizing.org:

Republicans’ unwillingness to address the issue facing rural families points to how little they understand about how these crises impact rural people even more substantially than those in urban areas. Republicans clearly don't understand rural concerns as much as they claim.

The baby formula shortage is a graphic example. Every member of Congress, but especially those representing rural states and districts, should be standing up to make sure babies get fed, it’s as simple as that. Instead, we are seeing Republicans vote as if the availability of products and workers is the same in rural areas as they are in cities, which isn’t the case. For rural families, you may have to drive to another town to the one store that sells formula. Now, you have to track Facebook groups or get into an Amazon bidding war to get it. If you are a low income family on WIC, you can’t use your benefits to get formula through these channels, and you might use up the last of the gas in your tank and dip into your rent money to get formula for the week. And 65 percent of all formulas in the United States are purchased by families through WIC, according to the National WIC Association. That’s a lot of families who Democrats are trying to help and Republicans just aren’t. 

Background:

Rural restaurants grew faster than the rest of the private sector following the Great Recession and independent restaurants are important cultural and community assets in rural communities. Now all restaurants are facing labor, inflation, and supply chain crises and each of these challenges hit rural restaurants harder.

The Independent Restaurant Coalition estimates that 50% of independent restaurants will be forced to close in the next 6 months, as they are still reeling from the impacts of the COVID pandemic and the small business support is a pressing need. While almost 300,000 restaurants applied for Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants in 2021,  nearly 200,000 restaurants did not receive funding as the fund was exhausted and had been waiting for the fund to be replenished. Yesterday’s vote signaled that their waiting was in vain.
 

 The mission of RuralOrganizing.org  is to rebuild a rural America that is empowered, thriving, and equitable. Follow us on Twitter @RuralOrganizing.

###

 

Share this post