The National Association of Counties (NACo’s) Rural Action Caucus recently met with congressional offices, federal agencies, and the White House Rural Council to discuss pressing issues facing rural counties nationwide. The Rural Action Caucus addressed making rural development a priority within the farm bill re-authorization, passing multi-year highway and bridges bills, protecting rural health programs, and urging level funding for public lands programs.
NACo President Lenny Eliason stated:
“In an economy struggling toward recovery, the last thing we need is to harm programs that lead directly to economic opportunity and jobs in rural America.”
The highest priority initiatives identified by the Rural Action Caucus are:
- Oppose unfunded federal mandates and preemptions, especially the “waters of the U.S.” guidance expected to be issued soon by EPA
- Support for making rural development a priority within the Farm Bill re-authorization and level funding for USDA Rural Development Programs
- Support for a multi-year re-authorization of the highway and bridges bill, MAP-21
- Support for an extension of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (SRS) and continued mandatory funding for Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT), and
- Support for health care services in rural America, especially Medicaid.
The Rural Action Caucus is a bipartisan coalition of rural elected officials from across the country striving to enhance the quality of life in rural counties through effective federal legislation.