When our rural communities thrive, the whole community thrives. This has been true since the very founding of our nation. Unfortunately, for nearly a decade, rural communities have been left behind, while our cities and urban communities have seen solid recovery from the crippling 2008 recession. It is no secret that Washington has not had rural America’s back. But that is changing under the Trump Administration.
With tax cuts, regulatory reform, a renewed focus on rebuilding infrastructure and increasing access to broadband, rural America is set to make a historic comeback.
Two weeks ago, I had the great privilege of flying on Air Force One with President Trump for his speech to the American Farm Bureau Federation in Nashville. I was proud to stand alongside the President as he laid out his comprehensive plan to revive rural America – a top priority of mine for West Tennessee.
One month ago, we passed historic legislation that cut taxes at every single income level. This means that hardworking West Tennesseans in every corner of the Eighth District will see more money in their paychecks to spend how they choose. This is a game changer for folks in rural areas who desperately need a tax break to help handle life’s big expenses.
We are already seeing the huge benefits of tax reform as American businesses – small and large – have begun to raise wages and more than 100 companies have announced plans to reward employees with bonuses as a result of tax cuts.
We are working hard to repair crumbling infrastructure throughout the Eighth District. The improvement of our roads, bridges, waterways and utilities systems is vital in order to support the growing agriculture industry and improve the overall quality of life in rural areas. Specifically, West Tennessee farmers desperately need the completion of projects, like I-69, in order to transport their important goods and products to the market place.
The prior Administration crippled small businesses and farmers through over-regulation and Washington overreach. In just one year, we have cut or delayed more than 1,500 regulations, keeping our promise to the American people. I will continue to fight to keep Washington out of your everyday lives.
As I travel throughout the Eighth District and discuss a wide range of issues with constituents, many conversations center on a need for expanded access to broadband.
Too many rural Americans do not have the high-speed Internet access needed to engage in the modern economy. In fact, according to the Federal Communications Commission, 39 percent of rural Americans, or 23 million people, lack sufficient broadband access.
At the end of his speech, I was honored to stand by the President as he signed two executive orders in front of thousands of farmers, directing the federal government to expedite requests for broadband access in rural areas. This was a step that will dramatically improve connectivity for many forgotten communities across America.
As we begin a new year, it is imperative that we continue fighting for farmers, small businesses and the workers in West Tennessee who are the lifeblood of our communities. Rural Communities represent the very best our nation has to offer. I am proud to support initiatives that will help the West Tennessee economy grow and thrive.