Friends of John Delaney
March 29, 2019

Delaney Launches Heartland Fair Deal – A Comprehensive Roadmap to Revive Rural America

FRIENDSHIP HEIGHTS, MD – John Delaney announces today the release of his Heartland Fair Deal, a comprehensive roadmap of policy solutions to revive rural America. The Heartland Fair Deal focuses on four areas: 1) Economic Growth 2) Infrastructure 3) Rural Health and 4) Agriculture and includes over 20 new policies.

Delaney calls for a new student loan forgiveness program for people in rural America, new initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship in rural communities, doubling the Earned Income Tax Credit, boosting rural infrastructure, strengthening health care access in rural America, and redesigning anti-trust regulations to address the concentration of power in the agricultural economy. Delaney would also reenter the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Delaney is one of the few 2020 Democrats who supported President Obama on trade.  

“America needs the Heartland and the Heartland needs a fair deal,” said Delaney. “We’re a stronger country when rural America is as full of opportunity as our cities. If the American Dream is to be a reality, it needs to be available to everyone, regardless of where they live. 

“For decades, while we enacted policies that helped Silicon Valley boom, rural America struggled. There aren’t enough jobs, there isn’t enough infrastructure, there isn’t access to health care, and there aren’t agricultural policies that help family farms. When you talk to people in small towns you hear the same thing: families can’t stay together, young people can’t stay in the places where they grew up. Hundreds of rural counties have a lower population today than they did decades ago. Greene County Iowa, where I campaigned earlier this month, had a significantly larger population in 1880 than it does today,” Delaney added.

“A lot of people in the Heartland put their faith in President Trump, but he hasn’t kept his promises. My plan is designed to allow people to move back to rural America, to start a business in a small town, to end the trade war and give farmers new markets, to boost rural health, and to get more government contracts into rural America.”

In January, Delaney called on his party to reconnect with the Heartland. Delaney has already campaigned in all 99 Iowa Counties and has announced his plan to campaign in all 50 states. Last weekend, Delaney campaigned in southern Idaho.
John Delaney’s Heartland Fair Deal
We have to put policies in place so a kid doesn’t have to move to a big city in order to have a chance for a good job.  We need a country where it’s equally likely that a city kid moves to rural America for a job as vice versa.
  1. Economic Growth:  Investment has been concentrated in a small number of cities and rural America has been left behind.  Reversing this trend requires investment.
    1. Student loan forgiveness for people that live and work in these communities for 10 years
    2. Priority in government contracting to companies with a majority of employees in rural counties
    3. Fix opportunity zone legislation to focus more on operating businesses, rather than investing in real estate
    4. Double the EITC
    5. Incentivize companies to build negative emission technology in rural America and coal country
    6. Create new SBIC and SBA Loan programs to encourage entrepreneurship and focus venture capital investment in rural America, particularly agricultural and climate disruptive technologies
    7. Support entrepreneurship in rural communities and mid-sized cities adjacent to rural America
  2. Infrastructure:  Rural infrastructure should be world-class.  Rural America deserves clean water, high-speed broadband, and safe bridges and roads.
    1. Create an Infrastructure Bank and increase funding to the Highway Trust Fund
    2. Focus on climate resiliency and flooding
  3. Rural Health:  There shouldn’t be health disparities and doctor shortages in rural America.
    1. Universal health care coverage
    2. Create incentives for doctors and other health care professionals to move to and serve rural communities
    3. Expand scope of practice up to the level of training for health care professionals
    4. Better integrate physical and mental health care and guarantee parity for mental health care
    5. Expand and invest in tele-health, including investments in broadband
    6. Invest in Community Health Centers
    7. Ensure rural communities have access to high quality, affordable substance use disorder treatments
    8. Strengthen access to pre-natal and maternity care in rural communities
    9. Improve access to health care for our veterans living in rural communities
  4. Support Agriculture:  U.S. agriculture feeds our country and much of the world. We have to end the trade wars and expand markets for U.S. agriculture.
    1. Reenter the TPP so we can expand markets in Asia and counter China’s dominance in those markets
    2. Invest in research to help agriculture deal with climate change through better technology and soil management
    3. Expand access and funding for conservation programs
    4. Invest in research to expand bio-based manufacturing opportunities
    5. Redesign anti-trust regulations to address concentration of power in the agriculture economy