Cong. Smith to co-chair revived Rural Caucus

Nebraska Congressman Adrian Smith is being named co-chair of the bi-partisan Congressional Rural Caucus. He and Mississippi Democrat Travis Childers say they want to rebuild the dormant caucus and use it to focus attention on rural issues.

Smith, a Republican, says one immediate concern is talk of the possible re-opening of the farm bill. Smith says, “We should take note when the president wants to reopen the farm bill — and there can be fair criticisms of the farm bill.” Smith says, for example in transportation, rural and urban areas often have different priorities.

Smith says he’s concerned when he hears about proposed cutbacks in highway construction due an effort to reduce carbon emissions. He says some cities will use tax dollars to reduce traffic, while those same dollars may be used to increase traffic in rural areas. He says there needs to be flexibility.

Smith says they have to be careful with any move from gas taxes to mileage fees for transportation. He says it would be nothing less than a “money grab.”

Thanks to Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton