A Commitment to Rural America
By Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04)
In September, Western Caucus Vice Chair and Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy unveiled the House Republicans’ Commitment to America. Americans have watched the Biden Administration and Democrats in Congress recklessly spend trillions of dollars and lead our country into a recession, ignore desperately-needed reforms that cripple infrastructure development, and tie the hands of our energy producers putting our nation at risk. The Commitment to America serves as a promise that if Republicans take the majority in the fall, we will work from day one to get America back on track.
The Commitment is comprised of four pillars: An Economy That’s Strong, A Nation That’s Safe, A Future That’s Built on Freedom, and A Government That’s Accountable. These pillars encompass many of the Congressional Western Caucus’ policy priorities, and – just as House Republicans are committed to delivering results for our constituents – Western Caucus Members are committed to delivering results for our constituents in rural America.
An Economy That’s Strong
With inflation at a record-high and energy costs skyrocketing, American families are struggling to make ends meet. This is particularly true in rural communities, where main street businesses are closing, jobs are disappearing, farmers and ranchers are unable to access to the resources they need, and economic development has been halted due to extreme regulations and litigation. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Western Caucus Members are committed to restoring American energy dominance, to lower costs for homes and businesses here at home and around the world. Energy production is central to rural economies, and by increasing domestic development of oil and natural gas, we can create desperately-needed jobs and generate revenue for local communities and states. At the same time, Western Caucus Members believe we must embrace an all-of-the-above energy portfolio. By empowering the United States to remain a leader in clean energy development, we can supplement traditional energy sources and remain competitive with the rest of the world. We can’t do this without a strong domestic mining industry, and we certainly can’t make any progress without permitting reform.
If we are going to restore our economy to what it once was and continue to be the strongest economy in the world, we must regain energy dominance, embrace new and emerging energy technologies, encourage domestic mineral development, and fix our broken federal permitting processes.
A Nation That’s Safe
The Biden Administration’s agenda and attacks on rural and agricultural communities have made our nation less safe. Crime rates have skyrocketed throughout the United States, and rural communities are facing increased threats from natural disasters due to crumbling infrastructure and a lack of resource management. By increasing our dependence on foreign countries for the energy we need or the food we consume, we are not fulfilling our role as a global superpower – we are putting ourselves at the mercy of foreign adversaries.
Western Caucus Members are committed to ensuring rural America is safe and secure. We understand that in order to strengthen our national security, we must support our agriculture and energy producers. We also must make investments into critical mineral development, infrastructure projects, and law enforcement agencies to ensure our communities have the resources they need to protect our families from hostile nations, natural disasters, and violent crime.
A Future That’s Built on Freedom
Families, landowners, and business owners across the country are impacted by far-left policies that are in direct contrast to our rural way of life. With so many communities – particularly in the West – surrounded by federal lands, we cannot afford to continue making disastrous decisions in D.C. that threaten our future.
Western Caucus Members are committed to delivering necessary and lifesaving services for all communities, from healthcare access and education to rural broadband. In this digital age, it is unacceptable that many rural households still do not have access to reliable Internet, and we know that diminished local tax bases – due to a large federal footprint – make it difficult for counties and school districts to provide quality education for our students. Our nation was built on freedom, and that’s the future we want to deliver by preserving private property rights, unburdening landowners from onerous regulations, and ensuring our communities have the resources they need for future generations to succeed.
A Government That’s Accountable
Democrats in Congress believe that more government is better government. They have worked with the Biden Administration in an attempt to overregulate nearly every aspect of our lives, which has resulted in confusion, uncertainty, and – overall – a lack of confidence in our nation’s ability to lead the world.
Western Caucus Members are committed to delivering transparency and accountability to all Americans, but particularly those in rural America. We understand how the decisions made in D.C. impact rural communities, and we know that state and local control, collaborative decision-making, and stability are the keys to success. We will strive to ensure that rural Americans have freedom from government overreach, and that it is those of us who are closest to the land that are making resource management decisions and leading conservation efforts.
In the last few months of the 117thCongress, Western Caucus Members will continue working toward a future that rural Americans can be proud of, and we look forward to advancing our priorities – and these pillars – in the years to come.