Biden Administration Highlights Investments to Rebuild, Revitalize Rural Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Biden administration hosted a “Rural Communities in Action” event to highlight rural investments across the country from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. 

Today’s panel comes as lawmakers work to finalize a new farm bill, which is expected to also bring serious investments to rural communities. 

During the panel, local leaders and rural advocates from across the nation had the chance to ask questions and learn how federal dollars, including billions from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, are being used to rebuild and revitalize rural communities now and in the future. 

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said nearly 60,000 local projects are receiving federal dollars as a result of the law. 

“What every one of those has in common, is that it was not invented in the US Department of Transportation headquarters in Washington, DC.,” said Secretary Buttigieg to attendees of the panel. “Our whole philosophy here is that the answers aren’t going to come from Washington, DC, but more of the funding should, and now it is. That’s what the ‘infrastructure decade’ is all about. And it is by design set up to be as empowering as possible for local communities, solving the problems that you hear about from the people you serve,” Buttigieg added. 

The administration says the infrastructure dollars are currently working to provide safer roads, cleaner water, better internet as well as affordable and accessible childcare and healthcare in rural communities. 

In Congress, lawmakers are pushing similar efforts in the upcoming farm bill, which is due for an update this year. 

“In our bill, we invest in rural health care, including elder care facilities, behavioral health centers and schools,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow (D- MI). 

Sen. Stabenow says she is looking to build off the administration’s progress in rural communities with the once-every-five-years bill. 

“Making meaningful investments that frankly focus our tax dollars on American farmers that have dirt under their fingernails, not Wall Street bankers and foreign investors,” said Stabenow.

Stabenow is leading the way on a new farm bill in the Senate, as chair of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. She says the agriculture industry is the backbone to rural America.  

“Keep farmers farming, keep families fed and keep rural communities strong,” said Stabenow. 

The administration also announced over $670 million in new investments to strengthen rural infrastructure including better access to reliable electricity and clean drinking water for more than one million people.