At the White House Rural Economic Forum in Peosta, Iowa, on Tuesday, President Obama unveiled new economic initiatives to help stir job growth and capital investment in rural America. "These are tough times for a lot of Americans — including those who live in our rural communities," the President said in a press release. "That’s why my administration has put a special focus on helping rural families find jobs, grow their businesses and regain a sense of economic security." With firm opposition from Republicans over another federal stimulus package, the White House has been seeking ways to curb the 9 percent unemployment rate without needing congressional approval. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Small Business Administrator Karen Mills alleged that the new economic package will have a meaningful impact on rural jobs — a critical element of U.S. unemployment, they claim, because although 16 percent of Americans live in rural areas, 90 percent of persistent poverty exists there.
Recommended by the White House Rural Council, Obama’s plan offers four economic initiatives:
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Photo: President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks during a Rural Economic Forum, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011, at Northeast Iowa Community College in Peosta, Iowa,: AP Images