King, Latham on “Rural-R-Us” group

Iowa's two Republican congressmen have been named to a panel of 15 Republican congressmen and one Republican congresswoman who represent rural parts of America.  The House Republican leader calls the group the "Rural America Solutions Group." 

Congressman Steve King, a Republican from the small western Iowa town of Kiron – population 273 — is part of the group, as is Congressman Tom Latham, a Republican from the large central Iowa town of Ames — population of 50,731 and home to Iowa State University.  Latham, though, grew up in a small town, as you'll read in his news release below.   First, though, is the news release from King's office because it arrived in my email box first. 

King Selected for Rural America Solutions Group
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Steve King, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, has been tapped by House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) to serve on the “Rural America Solutions Group,” a new task force created to address issues facing rural America.

President Obama previously promised he would hold a summit focused on rural issues during his first 100 days in office but has yet to do so.  King and House Members have recently called for the White House to establish an Office of Rural Policy. The Rural America Solutions Group’s goal is to find new ways to create jobs and other opportunities for rural America.

“Congress needs to focus on issues that will help our rural communities grow,” King said. “I meet regularly with farmers and small business owners who are concerned with the tax and regulatory burdens on their businesses, attracting and retaining quality employees, access to affordable and quality healthcare and improving our transportation infrastructure. I will work to address these issues to find the best ways to promote our rural communities and attract new residents.”

Members of the GOP Rural Solutions Group include:

•         Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) – Co-Chair

•         Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA) – Co-Chair

•         Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) – Co-Chair

•         Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)

•         Rep. Henry Brown (R-SC)

•         Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT)

•         Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX)

•         Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA)

•         Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO)

•         Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)

•         Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA)

•         Rep. Adam Putnam (R-FL)

•         Rep. George Radonovich (R-CA)

•         Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN)

•         Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE)


WASHINGTON, DC – Iowa Congressman Tom Latham has been named to the congressional rural solutions group, granting him wider influence and input on policies that affect Iowans and residents of the country’s other rural areas.

“Rural America has been hit hard by this economic downturn, and it’s time Congress started looking at issues from the perspective of rural citizens,” Congressman Latham said.  “I understand the Iowa traditions of hard work and community service, and I embrace the fierce independent streak that keeps Iowans moving ahead, even in the face of the current economic downturn or the historic floods and storms of 2008.  Those are the values I’ll draw on as I begin my work with this new Rural America Solutions Group.”

The 16-member Rural America Solutions Group, which includes lawmakers who represent rural districts from across the country, will focus on solutions that create jobs and economic opportunities as well as address the unique challenges rural communities face.

Congressman Latham grew up and raised his family in Alexander, Iowa, a town of fewer than 200 people.  Before his service to Iowans in Congress, Latham worked as a farmer and for a small family business – a seed company founded by his father in 1947.  

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.