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Bipartisan Rural Working Group Kicks Off
USAgNet - 02/17/2020

U.S. Senator Deb Fischer of Nebraska, a member of the Senate Commerce and Agriculture Committees, joined U.S. Senators Tina Smith of Minnesota, Mike Rounds of South Dakota and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin to host the first meeting of a bipartisan rural working group with rural leaders and stakeholders in Washington. This working group is meant to help address the challenges facing rural America.

"The heartland is not flyover country. It's full of wonderful, selfless people who help feed and fuel the world. Those of us who live in rural America already know this, but we need to show Washington that our families, communities, innovators, and businesses are worth the investment. I am excited to participate in this bipartisan working group to develop solutions for rural America," said Fischer.

"I've been to rural communities and Tribal areas across Minnesota, and I've seen how leaders and organizations are coming together to do unique and innovative things to not only create jobs and economic development, but also tackle local problems," said Smith. "At a time when you often only hear about the economic hardship in rural communities, I've been inspired by the spirit, resilience, and ingenuity of the people I've met in rural areas of Minnesota. I was so inspired that I decided to create a bipartisan Senate group aimed at highlighting what's working in rural America, and I'm pleased to be joined by my colleagues and dozens of advocates who share that same goal."

"South Dakota is a large, rural state. The Bipartisan Rural Working Group seeks to address the unique challenges facing rural areas, such as access to high-speed internet, health care, lending services and more. The success of rural America is vital for our long-term health and prosperity. I look forward to working with Sens. Smith, Fischer and Baldwin to advance the priorities of rural America in the Senate," said Rounds.

"Rural communities can't be left behind and Washington must do a better job of helping them move forward. We need to do more to support the family farmers that drive the rural economy forward," said Baldwin. "The federal government needs to step up and make investments that will expand rural broadband access, rebuild water infrastructure, increase affordable housing opportunities and support rural health facilities that are on the frontlines of the opioid epidemic. I'm excited to work with my colleagues to launch the new Bipartisan Rural Working Group to find common ground on solutions that will show rural America that Washington is working with them, and for them."

At the meeting, advocates from a variety of issues areas--including education, health care, agriculture, and housing--shared priorities for a stronger rural economy.

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