I know we have to get our folks back to work in this district. Yes, we are in the middle of a global pandemic that has thrown a wrench in the job market, but we were bleeding jobs and small businesses before the pandemic.
It is time Congress finally pass a long overdue infrastructure bill which will help our community position itself for the future while also providing good paying jobs for folks right here in our district.
One reason rural America is falling behind is due the lack of access to affordable high-speed internet. How can we expect our young folks to compete with the growing number of kids all around the world who are participating in a competitive global ecosystem without access to the internet? How can we expect folks to take advantage of online education without access to the internet? How can we expect our small businesses to operate on the global marketplace without the internet? It is time Congress pass a nationwide rural broadband infrastructure package to ensure everyone has affordable access to the internet.
It’s time we address the continued decline of rural healthcare in America. I have personally witnessed as many of our rural hospitals have closed over the last several decades. To receive emergency services, deliver a child, or just have a checkup, folks have to drive to other districts, sometimes we even end up in Chattanooga. And don’t even get me started on trying to find an OBGYN in rural America. It is time we end this trend of rural hospital closures and start investing in the health of our communities.