U.S. Representatives Matt Cartwright (PA-08) and Hal Rogers (KY-05) introduced the Transforming Hiring in Rural Industries and Vital Economies (THRIVE) Act, legislation that would create new economic opportunities in rural areas.
The THRIVE Act would reinstate the White House Rural Council, which was disbanded in 2017, reviving a federal effort to invest in the nation’s rural areas.
“At a time when urban issues get plenty of attention, it’s our responsibility to make sure small towns don’t get left behind,” said Cartwright, who represents Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District, which includes Lackawanna, Wayne, and Pike Counties and portions of Luzerne and Monroe Counties. “That’s why I’m proud to join my Republican colleague Hal Rogers in this bipartisan effort to maximize investment in rural communities. This bill directs federal dollars toward critical projects to improve health care services, expand broadband internet access, assist small businesses and strengthen schools.”
Among the programs overseen by the White House Rural Council was the Livable Communities Initiative, which supported efforts by local governments to improve transportation and develop housing in small towns. The council also worked with the U.S. Department of Education to provide online education for teachers and students in rural communities, bolstered at the time by a $2 billion commitment by the Federal Communications Commission for broadband deployment across the country.
The Rural Council launched the National Water Quality Initiative to work with farmers to improve conservation of working lands.
Rogers, who represents rural eastern Kentucky, says the bill ensures that rural America is not an afterthought and has a prominent voice in Washington.
“I’m pleased that this legislation will bring together key decision makers to prioritize rural needs and make sure federal investments are having the best impact possible in the areas that need it most," he said.
“At a time when urban issues get plenty of attention, it’s our responsibility to make sure small towns don’t get left behind." U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright