Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) joined Pennsylvania Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-PA) to re-introduce the bipartisan Transforming Hiring in Rural Industries and Vital Economies (THRIVE) Act to bring new economic opportunities to rural areas.
“Small towns and rural America make up the fabric of our great nation. However, they often do not get the same seat at the table as their urban counterparts in Washington. I am pleased to work with Rep. Cartwright to re-introduce the THRIVE Act, which resurrects the White House Rural Council, ensuring our most senior leaders in government are laser-focused on areas like southern and eastern Kentucky,” said Rep. Rogers.
“As we look to rebuild from this pandemic, I’m proud to work across the aisle to increase our investment in rural communities throughout the country and especially those in Northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Rep. Cartwright. “This legislation would enhance the use of federal funds to improve health care services, expand broadband internet access, assist small businesses and strengthen schools in our rural towns.”
The THRIVE Act would reinstate the White House Rural Council, which was disbanded in 2017, reviving a federal effort to invest in rural areas in Southern and Eastern Kentucky and across the country.
Among the programs overseen by the Rural Council was the “Livable Communities Initiative,” which supported local government efforts to improve transportation and develop housing in small towns. The Council also worked in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education to provide online educational resources for teachers and students in rural communities, which was bolstered at the time by a $2 billion commitment by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for broadband deployment across the country. Additionally, the Rural Council launched the National Water Quality Initiative to work with farmers to improve conservation of working lands and ensure they can be used for years to come.
This bipartisan legislation is co-sponsored by U.S. Reps. Sanford Bishop (D-GA-02), Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17), Jim Costa (D-CA-16), Rick Crawford (R-AR-01), Jahana Hayes (D-CT-05), Ann Kuster (D-NH-02), Tom O'Halleran (D-AZ-01), Chris Pappas (D-NH-01), Bennie Thompson (D-MS-02) and Don Young (R-AK-At Large).
Read the full text of the bill HERE.