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GOP Forms Task Force to Focus on Rural Issues

A leading group of House Republicans on Thursday announced the creation of a new task force to focus exclusively on issues affecting rural America.

The 16-Member “solutions group— will be co-chaired by the ranking members of the Natural Resources, Agriculture and Small Business committees: Reps. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Sam Graves (R-Mo.).

“Those who live and work in rural America are struggling to make a living in a difficult economy,— Lucas said in a statement. “It’s important that rural communities have a strong voice in Washington who know their struggles and are able to provide viable solutions.—

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement that the group will try to fulfill what Republicans describe as a broken campaign promise by President Barack Obama — that he would hold a rural summit within his first 100 days in office.

“Families, small businesses, and farmers in rural areas are struggling and this group will work to provide positive solutions to help farming and agricultural communities across the nation hit hard by this recession,— Boehner said. “My district contains the two largest agricultural counties in Ohio and since my election in 1990, I’ve remained committed to fighting on behalf of families, farmers and small business owners in rural areas.—

While on the campaign trail in October 2007, Obama told supporters in Iowa that he would have a rural summit within his first 100 days, according to news reports. Obama’s 100th day as president was Wednesday.

Other Members of the group include: Reps. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Henry Brown (R-S.C.), Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Mike Conaway (R-Texas), Steve King (R-Iowa), Tom Latham (R-Iowa), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), Adam Putnam (R-Fla.), George Radanovich (R-Calif.), Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) and Adrian Smith (R-Neb.).

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