President Joe Biden is hitting the road to sell the benefits of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill in rural America and demonstrate his administration's commitment to "building a better America where rural communities thrive."
The White House announced Monday that Biden administration officials will set out on the "Building A Better America Rural Infrastructure Tour" during the month of April, traveling to dozens of rural communities across the country in order to talk about the impact of investments from the landmark infrastructure law, as well as President Biden's commitment to making sure federal resources reach rural America.
"I have always believed that for America to succeed, rural America must succeed," Biden said in a statement. "Since taking office, my Administration has focused on building pathways to the middle class for rural Americans in rural America – including investing in rural infrastructure and rebuilding the communities that feed and fuel our country."
"For far too long, opportunity has been out of reach for rural communities," Biden said. "My Administration is changing that," he added, referencing provisions in the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, the American Rescue Plan, to aid rural communities during the pandemic, as well as those in the infrastructure law "to make sure we revitalize and rebuild rural communities for years to come."
"These generational infrastructure investments will provide rural communities across America affordable high-speed internet, clean drinking water, reliable electricity, better roads and bridges, and good-paying jobs," Biden said. "Strong infrastructure in rural communities is good for jobs, good for keeping the economy moving, good for lowering prices, and good for America."
The president will travel to Menlo, Iowa, on Tuesday, a small town about 40 miles west of Des Moines, to discuss the infrastructure law's impact on rural communities, as well as efforts to lower costs for working families and combat inflation.
Other officials participating in the rural tour include Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, EPA Administrator Michael Regan, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu.
Biden said that the tour will "double down on our unwavering commitment to building a better America where rural communities thrive."
As part of the announcement, the White House released a "rural playbook," which aims to help state, local, Tribal and territorial governments in rural areas access funding from the infrastructure law, giving those communities a guide "on the 'what, when, where, and how to apply' for funding under the law – so no community needs to hire a lobbyist to access their government."
“This Rural Playbook and our rural infrastructure tour are a critical part of our extensive outreach to state, local, tribal and territorial governments to ensure the people of America can benefit from this once-in-a-generation investment,” Landrieu, said in a statement. “Building a better America requires these funds to reach rural communities that have been left behind for far too long."
"We see you, and major investments are on the way," he added. With these investments in infrastructure in rural communities, President Biden is delivering for rural America.”