March 26, 2012
The Rural Development Subcommittee of the House Agriculture Committee this week held a hearing on "duplicative federal rural development programs". The Committee heard from officials at Rural Development and GAO to discuss the fact that 18 different federal agencies operate more than 88 different programs related to rural development. NAR worked with Members of Congress to raise the issue of the definition of rural area, and the fact that many communities are now being eliminated from eligibility based on population changes in the 2010 census. Reps. Hultgren (R-IL) and Costa (D-CA) both expressed concerns about this issue. Rural Development said their hands are tied by statute. Several bills have been introduced in Congress to try and deal with this issue.