Obama announces $2 billion for rural business


From the White House, in the heart of the nation's capitol, President Obama says he's thinking about American business in small towns and communities. His administration announced Sunday more than $400-million has already been invested in rural businesses through a federal program. In addition, nearly $2 billion is being pledged through 2016 to help small business operations across the country grow and modernize.

Action News Anchor Warren Armstrong asked Deputy White House Press Secretary Jamie Smith about how all that money will be used. "This is money that goes right in the hands of small businesses throughout country -- especially in places like Fresno. And I think that it furthers the president's commitment to small businesses throughout the entire country. They are really the backbone of our democracy," said Smith.

The Obama administration says it's taken steps to strengthen the farm economy and support jobs and growth in places like the Central Valley. Despite those claims, Armstrong explained to the Deputy Press Secretary that many people in Central Valley feel the president doesn't understand or is aware of the many problems plaguing agriculture and the entire Valley.

"The President is focused on creating an economy where everybody gets a fair shot... and everybody is playing by the same set of rules. Not a day goes by that the president isn't focused on creating an economy where everyone is thriving. I think the president is incredibly in touch with what is going on in this country and this economy. He is fighting every day to create that economy that everyone can really rely on," said Smith.

Monday morning Action News Anchor Warren Armstrong will talk one on one with President Obama about key issues impacting Central Valley agriculture and our economy.

Watch the first live report on Action News Live at Five. Coverage will continue at 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Warren is writing about his trip to the White House on his "Political Insider" blog. He also has posted new pictures of the Action News crew as they travel around our nations capitol.

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