Skelton urges President Obama to listen to concerns of rural America
By: Press Office of U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton
Congressman Ike Skelton
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 5, 2009) — Today, Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) joined other members of the Bipartisan Congressional Rural Caucus in inviting the President to personally visit rural communities across the country. In June, the Administration announced it would launch a “Rural Tour” so that Cabinet secretaries and advisors to the President can learn first hand the unique priorities of rural America.
“I was pleased to learn of the Administration’s rural tour. It will serve the President’s advisors well. But, I believe the President would be wise to participate in the tour as well. It would give him a better understanding of how proposed policies in Washington might impact Americans living in small towns and farms,” said Skelton.
The letter to the President, which was signed by 27 members of Congress, is attached. Earlier this year, the Bipartisan Congressional Rural Caucus sent a similar letter to the President asking him to create an Office of Rural Policy in the White House. This office has not yet been created. The Administration’s “Rural Tour” will serve, for now, as a way to inform members of the Cabinet and other senior officials about rural priorities.
Skelton is a former chairman of the Bipartisan Congressional Rural Caucus. _____
Aug. 5, 2009
The Honorable Barack H. Obama President of the United States The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama,
As members of the Congressional Rural Caucus, we welcome your announcement of your adminstration's rural tour. Experiencing rural America is vital to understanding the complex challenges facing many proud communities today. With that in mind, we invite you to visit our communities and see for yourself the fabric of our country.
Our nation faces unprecedented economic challenges, and rural communities across the country offer innovative solutions. Throughout the rural tour, we are sure you and your top officials will be educated on a wide range of topics which are unique to rural America and offer insight into what makes our country great. The rural way of life is forever changing, and the dedication to entrepreneurship and innovation is exceedingly prevalent in some of the smallest places of the country.
The Congressional Rural Caucus wants what is best for our constituents and for America. Together, we are working to find creative solutions and commonsense approaches to the many problems plaguing our nation, both rural and urban. That is why earlier this year, we wrote you regarding the establishment of an Office of Rural Policy to work hand-in-hand with the Office of Urban Policy.
As the rural tour events continue through the August recess, we respectfully request that you make it a priority to visit some of the stops personally. At the very least, upon conclusion of the rural tour, we would like to arrange a meeting between your top officials and the Congressional Rural Caucus to share bipartisan information about the many issues of specific importance to our constituents. This, along with the establishment of the Office of Rural Policy, will undoubtably help inform your Administration on the constantly changing face of rural America.
Thank you for your consideration of our requests. We look forward to working closely with you on the matters of concern to the millions of Americans in the rural congressional districts we represent, as well as your responses.
Travis W. Childers, Member of Congress Congressional Rural Caucus Co-Chair
Adrian Smith, Member of Congress Congressional Rural Caucus Co-Chair
Tim Waltz, Member of Congress Congressional Rural Caucus Vice-Chair
Glenn "GT" Thompson, Member of Congress Congressional Rural Caucus Vice-Chair
John Tanner, Member of Congress Tim Johnson, Member of Congress Charlie Wilson, Member of Congress Tom Periello, Member of Congress Denny Rehberg, Member of Congress Ike Skelton, Member of Congress Bennie Thompson, Member of Congress Christopher Carney, Member of Congress Ciro Rodriguez, Member of Congress Eric Massa, Member of Congress Michael H. Michaud, Member of Congress Sanford Bishop, Member of Congress Bart Stupak, Member of Congress Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Member of Congress Marion Berry, Member of Congress Dave Loebsack, Member of Congress Mike McIntyre, Member of Congress Jo Ann Emerson, Member of Congress Zack Space, Member of Congress Walt Minnick, Member of Congress Parker Griffith, Member of Congress Lincoln Davis, Member of Congress Debbie Halvorson, Member of Congress
Congressman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) serves as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. Congressman Skelton’s website is at http://www.house.gov/skelton.