The 258 members of the Rebuild Rural coalition are asking Congress for increased rural infrastructure funding in any future COVID-19 relief packages.
In the letter, the coalition called on Congress to: “Ensure that our rural communities have access to: clean and safe drinking water and wastewater facilities, secure and dependable surface transportation, reliable and affordable power, healthcare, housing, and broadband and research institutions with state-of-the-art facilities, in order to thrive and attract future generations. Many of these needs – including access to broadband and quality healthcare – have become acute in the past several weeks because of COVID-19. Media have reported parents driving students to fast food parking lots for access to Wi-Fi, and the current challenges of rural hospitals which struggled to meet the needs of the communities they serve under normal conditions before this pandemic and the economic viability of rural communities.”
“Our farmers and ranchers are the most efficient producers in the world. The supply chain enabling that efficiency has kept food stocked at grocery stores and markets across the country. But the ability to meet these demands depends on robust and reliable transportation infrastructure including roads, inland waterways, ports, and railways and support for the local people and institutions that will ensure this infrastructure is able to meet 21st century realities. Deteriorating rural infrastructure, however, threatens the competitive leadership of American agriculture.”