Monday, March 16, 2009

Congressman Travis Childers is Right!

Just saw this story on the website of an Alabama television station: CLICK HERE

I am so happy to see Congressman Childers standing up for rural America. I'm also really impressed to see that he's the Chairman of such a large and important caucus. He hasn't been in office that long. He must be doing something right up there.

How can city folks have an office in the White House but rural Americans not have one? Show me the fairness? Show me what's right in that?

Thank you Congressman Childers for standing up for rural America.

Here's the story:

Members of Congress want a White House office on rural issues
Published: March 16, 2009

WASHINGTON – First came the White House Office of Urban Affairs. Now, some in Congress want President Barack Obama to create a similar office for rural issues. In a letter to Obama Tuesday, 41 members of the Congressional Rural Caucus asked for an office to “work on rural issues which affect Americans who live in less densely-populated areas of the country.”

Those issues involve agriculture, education, health care, transportation and the economy, said Rep. Travis Childers of Mississippi, caucus co-chair.

“The administration chose to set up an office of urban policy,” he said. “So we specifically felt like, based on that, we should ask for equal treatment for rural America.”

Among those signing the letter were Reps. Bobby Bright, D-Ala.; Robert Aderholt, R-Ala.; Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala.; Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Ga.; and Rep. Tom Perriello, D-Va.

Obama announced the creation of the Urban Affairs office last month, saying he wanted “to bring long overdue attention to the urban areas where 80 percent of the American people live and work.”

The White House said the office was created to develop a strategy for urban areas and make sure federal dollars targeted to cities are spent wisely.

Childers said Obama hasn’t ignored rural issues, but “we want rural America to have a seat at the table when critical decisions are being made.”

Gannet Tseggai, a spokeswoman for the White House, said Obama is not overlooking rural Americans.

“The president is committed to addressing the needs of rural Americans and will work with the various departments … to achieve this goal,” she said.

Chuck Hassebrook, executive director of the non-profit Center for Rural Affairs, said creating a White House office to deal with rural issues is a good idea.

“There are many unique rural aspects to critical issues we’re dealing with today,” he said. But, he said, Obama’s policies so far haven’t been unkind to rural America. Money was included in the stimulus package for items such as broadband and water and sewer service for rural areas.

The letter to Obama was the first action by the newly established Congressional Rural Caucus. Rural concerns transcend geography, Childers said.

“There was a core of us that felt like we should reestablish and bring to the front and center issues that affect rural America,” he said.

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