Baucus Pushes White House Rural Council to Get to Work for Montana
Senator Applauds Focus on Rural Issues, Pushes Council to come to Montana
Posted: Thursday, June 9, 2011
Posted: Thursday, June 9, 2011
(Washington, D.C.) - Montana's senior U.S. Senator is working to bring the new White House Rural Council, which was established today, to Montana. In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Baucus applauded the establishment of the new council and urged him to bring its members to Montana for a roundtable discussion.
"Montana jobs rely on thriving rural communities. I'm glad to see Washington is finally taking notice of the vital role our rural communities play in our economy. But you can't truly understand the challenges faced in in rural America from desk in Washington. So I'm pushing the White House to bring the new Rural Council to Montana so it can see firsthand the unique challenges and opportunities facing folks from Sidney to St. Regis and everywhere in between and get to work for them," Baucus said.
Baucus fought for Montana priorities and common sense solutions to cut the federal deficit without unfairly placing the debt burden on rural America. He sees the new White House Rural Council as another avenue for educating the Administration on how federal policies impact Montana communities and rural America.
Text of Baucus' Letter to Secretary Vilsack:
I am writing to applaud the establishment of a White House Rural Council to focus on policy initiatives for rural America. A Council focusing solely on actions to better coordinate and leverage federal investments in rural America is long overdue.
Rural communities have unique qualities and needs that are often not fully understood by the lawmakers and regulators who are tasked with designing and implementing rural programs. To make matters worse, in these tough budgetary times rural America is often asked to shoulder a disproportionate share of the debt burden, as many programs and services critical to maintaining healthy rural communities find themselves on the chopping block.
The establishment of this Council is a good first step in recognizing that rural communities are the backbone of our economy, and a comprehensive look at how Federal programs and services are provided to these communities is desperately needed. I hope the Council uses this opportunity to gain a more complete understanding of the important role rural community's play as an economic engine in our economy.
The best way to begin understanding the needs of rural American is to get out of the bureaucracy of Washington, D.C. and talk to those who face these unique challenges and opportunities every day. No one knows the unique situations facing rural communities better than the citizens of Montana. I request that the Council hold a roundtable meeting in Montana so you can hear directly from Montana stakeholders on how federal program and services can be better tailored to meet their needs.
I look forward to working with you and the Council in this comprehensive approach to address rural issues.
CC: The Honorable Timothy Geithner, Department of the Treasury
The Honorable Robert Gates, Department of Defense
The Honorable Eric Holder, Department of Justice
The Honorable Ken Salazar, Department of the Interior
The Honorable Gary Locke, Department of Commerce
The Honorable Hilda Solis, Department of Labor
The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius, Department of Health and Human Services
The Honorable Shaun Donovan, Department of Housing and Urban Development
The Honorable Ray LaHood, Department of Transportation
The Honorable Stephen Chu, Department of Energy
The Honorable Arne Duncan, Department of Education
The Honorable Eric Shinseki, Department of Veterans Affairs
The Honorable Janet Napolitano, Department of Homeland Security
The Honorable Lisa Jackson, Environmental Protection Agency
The Honorable Julius Genachowski, Federal Communications Commission
The Honorable Jacob Lew, Office of Management and Budget
The Honorable John Holdren, Office of Science and Technology Policy
The Honorable R. Gil Kerlikowske, Office of National Drug Control Policy
The Honorable Austan Goolsbee, Council of Economic Advisers
The Honorable Melody Barnes, Domestic Policy Council
The Honorable Gene B. Sperling, National Economic Council
The Honorable Karen Gordon Mills, Small Business Administration
The Honorable Nancy Sutley, Council on Environmental Quality
The Honorable Valerie Jarrett, Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs
The Honorable Elizabeth Sears Smith, Office of Cabinet Affairs
(end letter text)
Contact: Kate Downen 406-224-5056 or Kathy Weber 406-657-6790
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