Chris Gibbs: Legislation will bridge divide between rural areas and leaders

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 11, 2021

This is an enormous victory for rural America. This bill invests in good paying jobs by tackling infrastructure projects that are essential to rural commerce, agriculture and heartland communities.

Of particular importance to rural communities is the historic investments this bill makes in rural broadband.

The broadband expansion in this bill is a modern-day version of rural electrification and will have lasting impacts in the way many rural Americans learn, work and connect.

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Passage of this bill is also a signal to rural America that the federal government can be responsive to the needs of their communities.

Seeing construction crews repair crumbling bridges or creating new broadband connections will be a tangible reminder that politics is about more than the bickering on cable news.

The only way to bridge the widening divide between rural America and Washington, D.C. is to continue to focus on impactful policies like infrastructure.

To that end, we are hopeful that Congress will soon also send the Build Back Better plan to the president’s desk.

That bill includes vital investment like universal pre-school, reduction in prescription drug costs and support for retirees that will similarly be seen and felt in rural America.

Chris Gibbs is an Ohio farmer and president of Rural Voices USA, a bipartisan network of farmers and rural community leaders