“I often hear from Iowans in rural communities struggling to navigate federal bureaucracy, which makes it harder to get the help they need. Although my office is always ready to help as much as possible, the Rural Prosperity Act will help Iowans identify and use relevant programs to overcome the challenges they face,” said Grassley.
“As someone who lives and grew up in a rural community in southwestern Iowa, I know firsthand the unique challenges and opportunities of our small towns, families, and local businesses,” Ernest said. “Too often, Washington overlooks the needs of our rural communities, which is why I am pleased to offer this bipartisan plan to cut red tape for rural America and to ensure that we always have a voice and a seat at the table. decision-making in our nation’s capital.
Currently, there are over 400 federal programs dedicated to helping rural communities. 13 different federal agencies have jurisdiction over these various programs, which include more than 50 offices and sub-agencies. the Rural Prosperity Act establish the Office of Rural Prosperity to coordinate these rural economic development programs.
The bill also requires the office to produce an annual comprehensive rural economic development strategy — a rural prosperity action plan — similar to what the Trump administration produced in 2018. This would include several specific issues that Grassley and Ernst claimed, such as:
- Rely on the best available science when reviewing or approving crop protection tools;
- Promoting the preservation of family farms passed down from one generation to the next, including changes to inheritance tax;
- Encourage the production, export and use of locally produced agricultural products; and
- Strengthen America’s energy security by promoting renewable energy and biofuels.
The bill is also led by Sens. Mark Kelly (D-Arizona) and Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.).