Rural Organizing Statement On Introduction of Rebuild Rural America Act

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This week, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rep. Nikki Budzinski (IL-13)  introduced the Rebuild Rural America Act, which would  create a new $50 billion block grant program for distressed rural communities.

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

We want to thank Senator Gillibrand and Rep. Budzinski for introducing the Rebuild Rural America Act in the 118th Congress. This legislation would help promote robust rural economies that create good-paying jobs and wages, decrease daily expenses, and improve the quality of life for rural communities, especially those experiencing economic distress. 

At Rural Organizing, we are focused on policies that expand opportunities for a good living and a good life in rural areas because that’s what rural people have told us they want.  And, the Rebuild Rural America does that.

We know the numbers: eight out of ten distressed communities are rural, and 60% of the residents in those counties are people of color.  The Rebuild Rural America Act is one key opportunity to deliver block grants to rural communities which face structural barriers to accessing other federal funds and to deliver the greatest investments in the communities which have been the most left behind.

Over the past few sessions of Congress, we have seen Senate and House Democrats make significant contributions to rural communities, some of the biggest since the New Deal. Investments in rural energy via the Inflation Reduction Act and roads, bridges and airports via the Infrastructure, Investments, and Jobs Act point to the investments rural communities need. Rural communities now need sustained funding targeted toward community needs so that their economies can thrive.

In April, Rep. Budzinski addressed our network of rural leaders to discuss the need for Congress to pass policies that deliver economic opportunities in small towns and rural communities. She made it clear that Rebuild Rural was part of that agenda. It has been encouraging to see a new enthusiasm among Democrats for the kinds of policies that rural voters want – investments in their quality of life like Rep. Derek Kilmer’s RECOMPETE Pilot Program, which passed as part of the CHIPS Act.

We strongly encourage Senate and House leadership to take up this bill. We want to see who stands with rural America and who doesn’t.

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


Matthew Hildreth
Matthew Hildreth
Matthew Hildreth is the Executive Director of


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