Blue Dog Coalition Launches Special Task Force on Rural America

Mar 1, 2018
Press Release

The Blue Dog Coalition has launched a Special Task Force on Rural America, which will produce commonsense solutions for the rural communities across the country that were left behind after the Great Recession.

The Special Task Force on Rural America will primarily focus on policy solutions in four key areas: 1) job creation and economic growth, 2) revising burdensome, antiquated regulations and rules that inhibit job growth, 3) increasing access to rural health care and addressing the opioid epidemic, and 4) ensuring that military veterans get the help and support they need when they return home. Blue Dog Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ) will lead the Special Task Force.


Chair:               Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ)

Members:         Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA),
                          Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX),
                          Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR),
                          Rep David Scott (D-GA), Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ),
                          and Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA)

“Rural communities make up the very fabric of America; their success is our nation’s success,” said Rep. O’Halleran (D-AZ), Chair of the Blue Dog Special Task Force on Rural America. “We must do more to bring good-paying jobs to these communities, grow the economy, expand access to quality, affordable health care, and provide better support for our military veterans. The Special Task Force on Rural America will deliver bipartisan, commonsense solutions to address the challenges Americans in rural communities are facing. I am proud to lead a dedicated group of legislators who are focused on lifting up rural voices and giving them a seat at the table in Washington.”

“In a time when many politicians are talking about what they’re against, the Blue Dogs will be producing commonsense solutions for the rural communities that haven’t felt the same level of recovery as urban communities after the Great Recession,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications. “Many of our districts include a major rural component, and the Blue Dogs can speak to the problems our constituents have raised with us in these communities. For more than 20 years, the Blue Dogs have led the way bridging the gap between Republicans and Democrats to develop commonsense solutions for serious problems Americans face in their daily lives. Through the Special Task Force on Rural America, we plan to continue that tradition and reach across the aisle to produce real solutions to better the lives of Americans who live in rural communities.”

“We need to recognize the differences between rural communities and urban communities, and then build the road to economic prosperity based on these realities,” said Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Administration. “What works for big cities doesn’t always work for rural areas, and we as Blue Dogs know this. As we have been saying for years, one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to developing economic solutions. The current inequality of opportunity between rural and urban communities is striking, and it feeds into the divisions our country is seeing today. The Special Task Force on Rural America will be a targeted effort to address the real problems Americans in rural communities are facing, and give those Americans a voice through the Blue Dog Coalition.”