Donald Trump likes to travel to rural parts of our country and make promises he has no intention to keep. He promised he would “negotiate trade deals to help our farmers,” claimed he would “produce phenomenal health care,” and said he would “foster enhanced broadband access for rural America.”

Let’s speak the truth: Donald Trump lied and betrayed rural America.

Rural Americans are not looking for more empty promises. They want a real partner in the White House who will listen and stand side by side to help address the challenges their families and communities face.

That’s exactly what Kamala Harris intends to do as president. As she’s traveled the country, Kamala has listened. She’s listened to farmers in Iowa who’ve had to leave soybeans to rot in the fields. She’s heard from New Hampshire families living with the effects of the opioid crisis. She’s met with families in South Carolina who can’t connect to the Internet. She’s sat with small business owners in Nevada who are struggling, while large corporations see their tax bills slashed. She knows that time and time again, politicians on both sides have let rural Americans down.

As president, Kamala will keep listening. With farmers, ranchers, business owners, and other rural Americans sitting at the table, she’ll deliver real solutions to lift up our rural communities – including job opportunities, health care, connectivity, and provide investments and subsidies to spur growth and development. 


HOW SHE’LL DO IT:

Trump’s corporate tax cuts have doubled the number of corporations paying no taxes; Kamala will ensure every wealthy corporation pays their fair share in taxes and will invest that money into rural jobs and business development.

  • Last year 60 corporations paid 0% in taxes thanks to this President. When Kamala is president that’s going to end, and she’ll put the over $100 billion that wealthy corporations owe toward bringing jobs back to our nation’s rural towns and communities.
  • Rural Jobs Tax Credit.
    • Kamala will give businesses that create jobs in rural communities an annual $10,000 tax credit.
      • Under this plan, states will work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to establish designated rural zones.
      • New businesses that are established in a designated rural zone or existing businesses that expand its location into a rural zone will be annually eligible for a $10,000 job-creation tax credit for every full-time equivalent job that business creates.
        • A business can receive the $10,000 tax credit for each new employee every year for up to ten years – up to $100,000 per full-time position created.
          • Employees must work 40-hour work weeks.
          • The tax credit is capped at $250,000 per year, per business location.
        • In order for a business to qualify to participate, it must meet the following criteria:
          • In the initial year of participation, it must create at least three new full-time jobs within a designated rural zone.
          • In the initial year of participation, it must also hire at least one new employee who lives in the community in which that business location operates.
    • Kamala will increase investment into existing and innovative rural area federal programs.
      • She will expand the Small Business Administration’s rural area programs to provide more technical assistance and grants for small businesses to begin and expand in rural areas.
      • She will also establish a new $100 billion Rural Investment Fund in Indian Country and micropolitan areas to support businesses that will prioritize hiring in rural communities and enhance that area’s economic, social, and cultural development by addressing certain challenges such as health care, infrastructure or connectivity.

Kamala will take executive action to reverse Trump’s harmful policies and end the war he’s waged on rural communities.

  • Immediately end Trump’s trade war on rural communities. Kamala will take executive action to immediately end the failed trade war by eliminating Trump’s tariffs. Across the country, farm bankruptcy filings are on the rise, manufacturing has sunk to its lowest level since the Great Recession, and the Trump Trade Tax is hitting working families with one of the largest middle class tax increases in nearly three decades. As president, Kamala will hold China accountable by working with a coalition of our allies, not by throwing farming families under the bus.
  • Fight Big Oil and end Trump’s abusive waivers from renewable fuel requirements. Since taking office, Trump has more than quadrupled the number of Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) waivers granted to oil refineries, handing the oil industry hundreds of millions of dollars on the backs of America’s farmers.  Kamala knows that biofuels are a critical part of our fight against climate change, and she’ll fight alongside our farmers to ensure the RFS is implemented as written, so that we are not giving waivers to Big Oil on the backs of farmers. Kamala held Big Oil accountable as Attorney General, and their abuse of rural communities will end when she’s in the White House.
  • Stand up to Big Ag and reinstate fair practice rules that protect family farmers. Upon taking office, the Trump administration rescinded the Farmer Fair Practices Rules, which were designed to protect family farmers from abuses of big agribusiness – including unfair business practices such as breaches of contract, retaliatory actions, and opaque pricing schemes. Kamala will take immediate action to stand with farmers and reinstate the rules.
  • Re-establish the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) as an independent office at USDA. In 2018, the Trump administration quietly gutted the office tasked with enforcing the Packers & Stockyards Act, a century-old law that protects family farms from unfair competition and deceptive and fraudulent business practices. As president, Kamala will take executive action to re-establish GIPSA and appoint an Agriculture Secretary who will prioritize enforcement of the Packers & Stockyards Act.
  • Appoint regulators to crack down on consolidation in the agriculture industry. Kamala has held polluters, big banks, and for-profit colleges accountable when they have harmed the environment, defrauded homeowners, and taken advantage of students. Across America, corporate consolidation of farming and the unfair practices of agribusiness are crushing rural communities. Kamala will immediately appoint a head of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and commissioners in the Federal Trade Commission who believe in strictly scrutinizing any future mergers between large agribusinesses and fully enforcing our antitrust laws. 

But Kamala knows it’s not just enough to repair the damage Trump has done. We also must partner with rural communities to solve the issues that keep families up at night. That’s why instead of making more promises during an election, Kamala plans to undo President Trump’s betrayal of rural Americans.

Reverse Trump’s betrayal on affordable health care.

    • Pass Medicare for All to make sure that everyone has quality health care, regardless of their income or the community they live in. Kamala’s plan will expand coverage and promote better care at a lower cost. Her plan will help at least 1 in 8 rural Americans receive care that they would not otherwise receive and truly deliver on the promise that has been made to rural America. Passing Kamala’s Medicare for All plan will, in turn, ensure that rural hospitals and clinics will have the funding and workforce necessary to stay open and serve their communities.
  • Boost women’s and children’s health and maternity care access. In Iowa alone, 26 hospitals have stopped offering OB services since 2004. That means there are entire counties where women have no options to deliver their babies or receive critical newborn care in a safe and timely fashion. Kamala will reward existing hospitals that reinstate or begin women’s and children’s health services. For counties that have no obstetric care whatsoever, such as Osceola County, Iowa, she will enhance the state and county community health infrastructure to attract clinicians and promote telehealth services along with timely transportation to critical access hospitals.
  • Eliminate child care deserts. In some parts of the country – especially parts of rural America – there are no options for child care, forcing mothers and fathers to choose between earning their wages or caring for their children. No American should be forced to make that choice. In addition to the bold vision Kamala has for paid family and medical leave, she will immediately take the following steps when she enters the White House:
  • Ensure all families have access to affordable child care. Kamala knows how expensive reliable child care can be, particularly in rural America where the average family spends 12 percent of their income on child care. Kamala will fight to pass the Child Care for Working Families Act to limit most working families’ child care payments to no more than 7 percent of their income. This will allow parents to be able to continue their work instead of worrying about their child care.
  • Address shortage of child care workers that make child care deserts worse. As part of the Child Care for Working Families Act, Kamala will significantly improve the compensation and training of the child care workforce so these workers have the support they need to deliver high-quality care. She’ll also make investments in family, friend, and neighbor care programs that will help cover non-traditional hours. 
  • Increase supply of safe, high-quality child care options through construction and renovation infrastructure investments at child care facilities. Kamala will also direct the Department of Education to explore how to utilize school campuses as child care sites during days that schools are not in session such as summer and longer holiday breaks.
  • Strengthen rural hospitals and health communities. Seniors deserve multiple points of access to high quality health services, including hospitals, community-based living facilities, senior centers, churches, and other local areas, which promote independence and offer affordable options. We know that rural elderly and low-income individuals are particularly likely to forgo seeking care when rural hospital closures force them to travel miles further to access hospital services. We also know that some conditions such as simple pneumonia or chronic lung disease can be treated in a person’s home rather than in a hospital, which is more expensive and more likely to cause additional complications. Kamala’s innovative plan to develop and finance rural hospitals and health communities will include:
  • Re-defining rural hospitals to tailor to the community’s needs. For example, she will allow clinicians to flexibly offer health services in multiple venues, including but not limited to assisted living facilities and in a senior’s home. This will include a funding model for the nationally-validated Hospital at Home program, which Kamala will bring into reality.
  • Incentives for employers to offer clinic services convenient to seniors, including retail sites, grocery stores, and restaurants.
  • Regulatory flexibility and education programs to allow for community health workers based in aging communities to serve as health navigators and health coaches. Kamala knows that health care is complicated and rural Americans sometimes have to spend more time navigating the system rather than benefiting from the care itself. Her administration will fix that.
  • Invest in mental health and substance use treatment. Kamala’s plan will invest in workforce training and telemedicine to provide direct access to health care professionals for residents across rural America. She will authorize a new educational loan forgiveness program for mental health professionals that agree to practice in areas with a shortage of mental health professionals (Mental Health Professionals Workforce Shortage Loan Repayment Act). She will build on that legislation by:
    • Covering telehealth services under her Medicare for All plan.
    • Creating incentives for mental health professionals to become telehealth service providers and work with state licensure boards and accrediting organizations to create a registry of all licensed telehealth service providers such that rural Americans can have increased opportunities to receive mental health services through licensed and appropriate providers in their state.
    • Providing grants for education and outreach to rural Americans promoting the use of mental health services through telehealth technology.
    • Developing provider programs to help psychiatrists and psychologists train and teach primary care clinicians to deal with complex mental health issues in partnerships between major regional centers and smaller community-based clinic offices through telehealth consults and technology-assisted education.
    • Committing to fund community-based mental health programs across rural communities.
  • Address the opioid crisis in rural America. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids – which include prescription painkillers, heroin, and fentanyl – killed more than 42,000 people in 2016, with higher overdose rates in rural America. Kamala understands that people suffering from addiction need their government to offer a comprehensive public health response, including research, treatment, and access to life-saving opioid overdose reversal drugs.
  • Public health research, training, and access to naloxone. Kamala would fight to pass the CARE Act, which would give states and localities $100 billion over the next 10 years to address the opioid crisis.  It would include funding for public health research and training, and to expand access to naloxone and provide the overdose reversal drug to first responders, public health departments, and the public.
  • Hold corporations accountable for fueling the opioid crisis. Kamala would also fight to pass the Opioid Crisis Accountability and Results Act, which would impose fines and penalties on corporations and individuals who engaged in prohibited marketing and distribution practices. 
  • Increase Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for families with children.  We depend on rural America to produce most of the food that we eat in this country, yet rural households disproportionately grapple with food insecurity: limited or uncertain access to adequate nutrition. This leads to poor health and education outcomes, increases residents’ commutes to access healthy foods, and serves as a deterrent for potential new residents. SNAP is our most critical nutrition assistance program and provides a vital safety net for higher proportions of rural households than in cities. Kamala will fight to pass legislation like the SNAP for Kids Act, which would increase food assistance for school-age children (5-17 years old) by $42 per child per month, a 27 percent increase, and adjust the formula for benefit calculations to make certain that families don’t fall behind as food prices rise. Kamala will also increase funding for the Healthy Foods Financing Initiative to improve rural Americans’ access to fresh fruits and vegetables and stimulate their communities.

Reverse Trump’s betrayal on connecting rural communities to the Internet.

  • Connect every home to affordable broadband by 2024. There is a staggering digital divide in America that leaves nearly one third of rural Americans without access to high-speed broadband. When a community is separated by the digital divide, it means a child doesn’t get the most up-to-date educational material, it’s harder for a patient to receive information from their doctor, and a small business can’t find their next customer. That’s why, as president, Kamala will invest $80 billion in a new “Broadband for the People” program that will ensure 100 percent of households in America have access to affordable broadband by the end of her first term. And because broadband requires sustained commitment, Kamala will also invest $2 billion subsidy per year to ensure that high-speed connectivity remains available in rural areas. Broadband for the People funding will be prioritized for local governments, states, tribes, and non-profit organizations that seek to increase broadband access, affordability, and adoption. Broadband for the People will:
    • Build the infrastructure needed to provide affordable broadband service in underserved areas. For example, funding will be available to help build fiber infrastructure in communities without access or with little private sector competition. In return, recipients will be required to offer affordable plans to low-income residents, and where possible, pursue “dig once” policies where the development of broadband infrastructure is coordinated with other municipal projects.

Eliminate state laws that limit communities from building their own broadband infrastructure. Whether communities seek to provide a service for the first time or attempt to reduce costs through competition, Kamala believes they should be free to better connect their residents to the global economy. That’s why, as part of the Broadband for the People program, state laws that block community-driven broadband programs will be preempted by federal law. Community-driven programs will also receive a strong preference in access to federal funds.

    • Establish accurate nationwide maps of where broadband is available, how fast it is, how much it costs, and how reliable it is. For too long, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has allowed telecoms, cable companies, and wireless carriers to exaggerate their coverage and performance. That’s been especially harmful in rural communities, where broadband maps are essential for consumers to select providers and for small businesses to make plans. Accurate maps are also foundational for closing the digital divide, by directing funds to the rural communities that are most in need of broadband expansion.
  • Restore the FCC’s net neutrality rules. Rural communities too often have limited choice among broadband providers. Net neutrality is essential for making sure that rural connectivity doesn’t come with caveats: consumers and small businesses must be able to choose the services, apps, and devices they want. Kamala strongly supports restoring Title II classification of broadband service and the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order, and she will nominate an FCC chair who prioritizes restoring net neutrality.

Reverse Trump’s betrayal to family farms.

  • Empower farmers and ranchers to be part of the climate fight and solution. Our farming and ranching families are on the front lines of the climate crisis, and they will play a critical role in fighting climate change and ensuring we have a sustainable food supply for generations to come. Kamala’s new “Climate Plan for the People” will build a clean economy by 2045 and ensure that no community is left behind as we address the climate crisis. The challenge ahead is great, but so is our opportunity. That’s why, as president, Kamala will stand with our farmers and ranchers to wage this fight by:
    • Supporting every farm in America to fully implement science-based conservation practices by 2040. Our agricultural sector is already a global leader in climate-smart agriculture and Kamala will partner with farmers and ranchers to expand upon the contributions the sector has already made to reduce emissions and fight climate change. Under the Harris administration, USDA will expand its incentive-based approaches to work with farmers and ranchers to increase the deployment of strategies that farmers across the country are already employing like conservation tillage, cover crops, nutrient management, managed grazing, and methane digesters. Kamala will massively scale and build on the work already being done by programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, and the Conservation Stewardship Program. By creating a market for carbon farming practices that directly pays farmers for storing carbon in healthy soils and crops, farmers can diversify their revenue stream and increase production while pulling carbon out of the atmosphere.
    • Driving the development of bio-based products and biofuels. Clean and low-carbon renewable biofuels are essential to reducing emissions in the transportation and electricity sectors and can also reduce emissions locally on farms and ranches, particularly in the pumping of water and fueling of agricultural equipment. By leveraging the purchasing power of the federal government, Kamala will increase the procurement of low-carbon renewable fuels, driving the market for clean fuels. Other bio-based products, including plastic substitutes and wood-based products can reduce emissions and other impacts on the environment while boosting rural economies and creating good jobs. That is why Kamala will significantly expand USDA’s investment in R&D and partner USDA with ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy) to dramatically increase USDA’s R&D capabilities, including increasing funding for state land-grant universities and USDA’s competitive grants. By developing the next generation of agricultural innovations, we can help American farmers and ranchers reduce emissions, expand carbon farming, and drive the development of biofuels and other bio-based products.
    • Extending tax credits for wind and solar and incentivizing adoption of renewable energy on farms and ranches by boosting the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Co-locating agricultural practices and renewable energy development can diversify revenue streams and reduce emissions. Since 2008, REAP has been a critical tool to help farmers incorporate clean energy technologies. Kamala will work to expand REAP to reach more rural communities.
  • Expand local and regional food systems to drive community-centered economic growth. As Senator from California, Kamala knows the critical role the local farm economy plays in supporting families and communities. As president, Kamala will work to expand local and regional food systems by increasing funding for programs like the Local Food Promotion Program and the Farmers Market Promotion Program.
  • Spark a new generation of farmers. Kamala believes we must make farming more attractive and attainable for new and young farmers. She understands that initial operating costs and the amount of land currently needed to generate a marginal profit make it hard to break into the industry. That’s why she’ll fight to pass the Young and Beginning Farmers Act to improve access to affordable farmland and make it easier for young farmers to access federal farm assistance programs.
  • Expand support for minority and socially disadvantaged farmers. Centuries of discrimination and agricultural policies to feed Big Ag and starve family farms have devastated minority farmers. From 1920 to 1997, the number of Black farmers declined 98 percent. Kamala will ensure the same proportion of loan funding necessary to cover the high start-up costs of farming is distributed equitably. She’ll also fight to pass a law extending the statute of limitations for discrimination complaints so minority farmers can finally seek the compensation they’re due.
  • Support heirs’ property owners by establishing a Commission on Heirs’ Property. Throughout rural America, particularly the Deep South, property passes down from generation to generation without a legally designated owner, meaning all the descendants in a family share ownership of the property. Heirs’ property typically passes down without a will or with “clouded title,” meaning that landowners can’t get grants and loans to use their property to build wealth. Heirs’ property is disproportionately common in minority communities: heirs’ property is the leading cause of Black involuntary land loss. Kamala will fight to stop this major driver of the racial wealth gap. She’ll establish a Commission on Heirs’ Property to provide heirs’ property owners with resources to clear their title and receive other estate planning services. She’ll also work to ensure that all heirs’ property owners are eligible for full federal agricultural support and disaster relief services.
  • Pass 21st century immigration reform that includes the creation of a new agricultural worker visa program. Kamala will fight to pass immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million people living in our communities and contributing to our economy, including many experienced and skilled agricultural workers. At the same time, it’s clear that America’s agricultural economy faces a critical shortage of workers every year. That’s why Kamala will create a new agricultural worker visa program that’s open to all segments of agriculture and provides flexibility to the differing needs of farmers and ranchers, while providing basic rights and protections for farm workers.

Reverse Trump’s betrayal on rural community investment.

  • Expand support for community-based programs on aging and elder rights support activities. There are approximately 10 million people ages 65 and older living in rural America today, and about one out of every four older adults lives in a small town or other rural area. Yet, since taking office Trump has repeatedly issued budgets that have hurt rural Americans, including seniors. As president, Kamala will increase funding for Older American Act programs that provide home-delivered meals and rides to medical appointments; fund Alzheimer’s supports and Aging and Disability Resource Centers; connect seniors to part-time community service activities; and provide grants to professionals and advocates working in legal, elder rights, and aging and disability services. 
    • Senior centers and assisted living facilities have increasingly become one of the largest employers in many communities, and properly funding these programs will also help create economic opportunities in rural America.
  • Invest in education, schools, and children in rural America.
    • She’ll also pass her teacher pay proposal to pay teachers their full value, which on average across the United States will be a $13,500 raise per year.  This will not only make it easier for rural school districts to recruit and retain top teaching talent, it will also serve as a major economic boom to those communities and encourage students to stay and teach in their hometowns.
    • She’ll ensure all students have a nurse and social worker in every school. Access to school-based health services not only improves a child’s health but also has a positive impact on absences, dropout rates, disciplinary problems, and other academic outcomes. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recognized the critical role that school nurses play in children’s health and has called for a full-time nurse in every school. Yet, 40 percent of schools across the country only have enough money to support a part-time nurse, and over 25 percent of schools do not employ a school nurse at all. Even fewer have social workers who can help address children’s unmet physical and emotional needs that interfere with their ability to learn.
      • As President, Kamala will ensure that all students have access to school-based health services and a nurse and a social worker at their school.
      • She’ll also create a federal grant program, similar to the one authorized in the Affordable Care Act, to help schools address their capital needs like construction, renovation, and equipment so they can improve and expand physical and mental health care services.
      • Kamala’s plan to have a nurse and social worker in every school will improve health outcomes across rural America, which will lead to improved educational and long-term productivity outcomes.
    • Kamala will invest in agricultural sciences at colleges and universities. She’ll direct federal research and grantmaking agencies to direct more opportunities to agricultural colleges and land-grant universities. Specifically, she’ll ask the USDA, USGS, NOAA, and EPA to facilitate broader participation in federal research grants and opportunities for students engaged in solving our agricultural challenges..
    • Kamala will address America’s trade skills gap by providing workers with up to $8,000 to access skills training and other educational opportunities, as well as transportation benefits and other supports people might need to take advantage of these training. (21st Century SKILLS Act
      • This will ensure that as we implement a Climate Plan For the People and upgrade our nation’s transportation, clean water, and energy infrastructures, rural Americans will be equipped to fill those family-sustaining and in-demand positions.
  • Protect our natural resources. For many rural communities, healthy forests mean healthy economies. That’s why Kamala supports full and permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and is committed to restoring and preserving the health of both public and private lands, especially the nation’s forests. 
    • Transform our public lands into net carbon sinks. Today, our public lands contribute far more carbon emissions than they store through natural carbon sequestration. Kamala will turn that around, putting forward a bold goal and strategy to make our public lands absorb more carbon than they emit by 2030. To meet this goal, she’ll ramp up renewable energy development, end fossil fuel extraction on public lands, and protect, restore, and steward our natural systems to capture and store carbon through strategies like reforestation and landscape-scale restoration. 
    • Partner with rural communities, businesses, and environmental groups to build collaborative approaches to forest conservation and management that protect the environment while also supporting rural manufacturing of sustainable bio-based goods. Healthy private lands and forests are also critical to rural economies and a robust market for sustainable wood products requires healthy and resilient forests.
    • Mitigate wildfire risk. By 2050, wildfires are projected to burn twice as much land across the West each year. A healthy forest and ecosystem is the best defense against wildfires, and Kamala knows that fostering healthy forests starts with science-based forest management. That’s why she’ll provide the U.S. Forest Service and the communities in the Wildland-Urban Interface the resources they need to address this threat. She’ll also partner with states and local governments to implement community wildfire protection strategies, including defensible space projects, infrastructure hardening, evacuation planning, and educational campaigns. 
  • Expand access to affordable transit. Rural communities need a transportation system so kids can attend after-school programs, seniors can access community centers, and families can go to the grocery store or the doctor. Kamala will work to expand programs and services like the the National Rural Transit Assistance Program to build out more transit solutions for all rural Americans.
  • Tackle the western water crisis. Here’s the truth: we’re pumping the West dry. We allocate 500 billion gallons more than the Colorado River produces on average every year. Our groundwater levels have dropped to historic lows, causing land to subside across the West. Our urban, agricultural, and ecological water needs are increasingly in conflict. And climate change is exacerbating these challenges. That is why Kamala’s Water Justice Act invests $20 billion in a diverse portfolio of sustainable water solutions like water recycling and reuse, groundwater recharge, water efficiency and conservation, and using natural infrastructure to store more water while protecting ecosystems. Kamala knows that there is no silver bullet to this crisis and that is why she will bring together all stakeholders, including indigenous community members, to draw on their collective expertise and experience for solutions to the western water crisis.
  • Ensure access to clean and affordable water. From PFAS in New Hampshire to nitrates in the heartland, toxins are contaminating water flowing into rural homes. This poses serious health risks, including cancer and developmental diseases, particularly for children. Kamala will hold the responsible chemical companies, Big Ag, and other polluters to account for polluting our water. She’ll also fight to pass her Water Justice Act, which declares a Drinking Water Infrastructure Emergency and invests $250 billion to repair and replace drinking water infrastructure, provides aid to rural families to upgrade and maintain well water and septic systems, and creates a new low-income assistance program to help households pay for high drinking water and wastewater utility bills. And as we fix our infrastructure, we will create millions of jobs and spur local economic growth.
  • Strengthen rural housing support. All Americans deserve to be able to put a roof over their heads. Kamala will work to expand USDA’s Rural Housing Service to build or fix housing and community facilities across rural America. She’ll also fight to protect access to rental assistance in rural areas, especially for the elderly and disabled, and for families with children.