What is that on the cover of our magazine? A graphic of a U.S. Senate bill?
We have a tradition of putting extraordinary people on our cover, such as electric co-op leaders and legislators, but S. 1032—the RURAL Act—is no run-of-the-mill piece of legislation. The RURAL Act allows co-ops to receive grants for a host of programs—including disaster aid, broadband and economic development—without losing their tax exempt status.
It’s a complicated tax issue, and I will not bore you with the details. What you need to know is that this bill needs to pass. And soon. The Oregon delegation with its incredible seniority and clout is well-positioned to make it happen. Our senior senator, Ron Wyden, is the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee.
I know passing legislation is difficult, and the U.S. Congress is largely viewed as a broken institution. But I also know Congress has a profound capacity to do the right thing, and when it wants to act fast, it can act fast. I am hopeful that if we can make the case for this bill’s passage, the U.S. Congress will respond with alacrity.
Members of Congress often talk about how they are interested in the well-being of rural America. Now they have a chance to back up their words by supporting the RURAL Act.