Pete Buttigieg plan would invest $50B in rural America

Aug. 13 (UPI) — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg unveiled a plan Tuesday designed to help rural America grow and innovate, with billions of dollars in federal investments.

The South Bend, Ind., mayor detailed the plan as he visited Iowa this week, where the Democratic caucuses will take place Feb. 3. Iowa is the first state in the nation to hold a primary vote in next year’s campaign.

The plan is titled “Investing in an American Asset: Unleashing the Potential of Rural America.”

“Rural America is vital to our country’s past, present, and future,” it says.

“Rural America is brimming with possibility. Yet our government too often treats rural America as an afterthought, and it shows.”

Buttigieg said the plan aims to benefit rural America by “investing in people” and enabling rural Americans to “build new businesses and seize new economic opportunities.”

The plan calls for $80 billion in investment funds as part of an “Internet for All” initiative that would provide high-speed broadband coverage to rural communities. It also details initiatives to increase jobs, entrepreneurship, teacher pay and fight climate change.

To boost job creation and entrepreneurship, the plan calls for as much as $500 million in federal aid to create “Regional Innovation Clusters” — and boosts teacher pay at Title I schools, to resolve shortages.

Democratic candidates Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar rolled out similar plans last week.