At Wednesday's Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing, Members were given an opportunity to discuss their legislative priorities.  I presented several bills I have introduced in this Congress that would spur economic growth in rural communities.

The Rural Communities Investment Act would extend an existing tax incentive to make interest earned on farm real estate and certain rural housing loans exempt from federal taxation.  It would increase the low cost financing opportunities for farmers, ranchers, and rural homeowners.

The savings generated from this bill will put resources back into rural economies, spurring infrastructure development in some of our nation's most underserved communities.

Another bill I discussed was H.R. 2378, legislation that would allow USDA guaranteed loans to be tax exempt when used to finance water, wastewater, and essential community facilities.  Federal guarantee of these loans, along with the exemption on taxable interest, is a winning combination that will go a long way to help rural communities.

Rural communities throughout America continue to face challenges in accessing basic needs.  While it is unlikely that these issues will be addressed in what remains of the 109th Congress, I am hopeful that my colleagues and I we will be able to see them passed in the upcoming Congress.