Harris Rolls Out Plan to Bring Jobs, Internet to Rural America

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 10, 2019, in Des Moines. (AP Photo/John Locher)

(CN) – Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris on Thursday promised to reverse President Donald Trump’s “betrayal toward rural America” by ending corporate tax breaks and investing over $100 billion in small businesses and towns.

The California senator’s latest campaign plank would create new tax breaks for businesses that create jobs in specified “rural zones” and a $2 billion annual subsidy to improve high-speed internet availability in small towns. It also calls for an executive order to end Trump’s trade tariffs and fuel requirement waivers that have been granted to American oil and gas companies.

“Donald Trump lied to rural America to get their votes, but has since turned his back on them,” Harris said in a statement. “When I am president, rural America will have a partner ready and willing to listen and work together on real solutions to the problems they face every day.”

Trailing in recent polls, Harris is hoping to drum up support in early primary states to keep her campaign afloat. The Democrat is scheduled to introduce her plan in Iowa on Thursday and South Carolina over the weekend.

The rural plan includes a $10,000 tax credit for each job businesses create in rural zones up to 250,000 annually. Employees must work 40-hour weeks and a business must create at least three full-time jobs in a particular zone in the first year to qualify for the tax perk.

Harris says she will also increase scrutiny over mergers in the agriculture industry that she claims are “crushing rural communities,” as well as reward rural hospitals for improving women’s and children’s health services.

The wide-ranging plan would be funded through new corporate taxes. It also calls for the expansion of teaching and child care jobs in rural towns that lack them.

“By creating jobs through real investment, reversing the deeply harmful effects of the trade war and increasing access to critical infrastructure like broadband, I know we can ensure that this generation and ones in the future find a successful life right where they are,” the Oakland, Calif. native added.

Former Vice President Joe Biden introduced a rural plan in July that invests billions toward clean energy research and new loans for farmers. U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts unveiled her rural plan in August, proposing $100 billion toward fighting the opioid crisis and a public option for high-speed internet.

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