Letter to the Editor: Democrats deliver for rural communities | Winchester Star

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CATHERINE GIOVANNONI

Democrats just passed the Cut Inflation Act. You’ve heard it will create jobs, reduce Trump’s deficit, and eliminate carbon. But it also has specifically rural advantages.

For example, the IRA gives the Department of Agriculture the ability to provide agricultural loan relief. Farm families in distress here in the Shenandoah Valley will be able to keep their farms.

It includes more than $9 billion for rural electric co-ops (like the one that supplies electricity to Frederick County) to improve clean energy capacity, decarbonize and make investments in energy efficiency, including transmission. This will create new jobs in clean energy cooperatives. This is the biggest investment in conservation since the days of the Dust Bowl.

Reducing greenhouse gases will allow the United States to market our agricultural products worldwide, assuring our customers that American agricultural products are the most sustainable in the world. Along with the recently passed Ocean Shipping Reform Act (eliminating supply chain lockdowns and reopening ports), as well as improvements to U.S. rails, bridges and roads, it will now be easier for farmers Americans to get their products to market. – faster. US agricultural exports hit a record high last year and are on track to do so again.

The IRA (and the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Bill) will dramatically expand rural broadband, keeping young people in rural areas, helping farmers practice precision farming and providing new opportunities for small businesses here in Frederick County.

There’s also help for rural communities here and in nearby coal-mining West Virginia. The IRA will support these historic energy-producing communities by providing a 10% tax bonus for clean energy projects in these communities, bringing business and new jobs. It will also provide transmission upgrades to bring this clean energy to market. And it provides full and permanent funding to the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund for miners and their survivors.

Rural counties like ours represent nearly 85% of US counties where 20% or more of the population is over the age of 65. So Medicare cost savings, especially for insulin and other prescription drugs, and the $2,000 cap on prescription costs, as well as the President Biden’s recent actions that make hearing aids available over the counter at huge savings, will have particular benefits for rural communities.

Every Republican, including Congressman Ben Cline, voted against all of these IRA benefits.

President Biden has reached an all-time high of passing the CHIPS Act, the PACT Act for veterans, bipartisan gun safety legislation, and unique infrastructure legislation in a generation. He expanded the NATO alliance, rallied our allies to support Ukraine, and eliminated terrorist leader al-Zawahiri. President Biden’s policies have resulted in historic job growth, record unemployment in many states, and wage increases, while reducing Trump’s deficit. Now, with the IRA pumping billions and billions of dollars into rural areas like ours, he has made it clear that it is the Democrats who deliver for rural communities.

Catherine Giovannoni is a resident of Lake Frederick.

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