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Appalachian Trump Supporters Worried By Trump's Budget

21 March 2017

"We are concerned about the ability to help rural Alabama with elimination of the ARC program".

The $24.1 million spent in West Virginia by the ARC a year ago was matched by $27.9 million from other federal agencies, state partners and private foundations, according to the ARC. "A good example of that is what they've done to the coal industry in Eastern Kentucky".

The I-26 extension, completed in 2003 between Asheville and the Interstate 81 interchange, was 80 percent funded by ARC grants.

Patton told the News-Express Friday that usa 460, which is meant to connect Elkhorn City by four-lane, now stalled at Marrowbone, is one of the many projects funded by the ARC - along with us 23 and U.S 119 (which connects Pikeville to Williamson, West Virginia).

Rogers said he will continue to advocate for sufficient funding for the ARC and similar programs.

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In January, the ARC announced it would provide almost $26 million to help fund programs to train more than 7,300 workers and students impacted by the changing coal economy. All of West Virginia is included, as well as parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. "It's a dagger to the heart really".

"When I was governor, when I made the proposal, I'd safely say 95-98 percent off (the budget) was what the legislature finally adopted", he said. "I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress and the president to work toward getting our fiscal house in order and balancing our budget". Nick Loris, an energy fellow at the foundation, said the work that ARC and the Economic Development Administration do should be devolved to state and local governments "to encourage transparency and reduce duplicative federal spending". In 2009, Christal Perry, the city's project manager for the CDBG, said they received about $2.1 million from the grant. "It is very effective, that if you feel very strongly about something, to make your views known".

It's unclear if Bevin supports the Trump budget.

"I'm pleased to see an increased focus on our national security and veterans budgets", Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McDonnell told the News-Express Friday. "While this is only the first step in the budget process, I will work with the delegation to protect essential Kentucky priorities in the final budget".

In an emailed statement, U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., applauded the Trump budget proposal's support for national defense and assured the safety of programs benefitting rural Appalachia.

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"I am disappointed that numerous reductions and eliminations proposed in the President's skinny budget are draconian, careless and counterproductive", Rogers said. Today, almost everyone in the region has access to clean water and sewer, the workforce is diversifying, educational opportunities are improving and rural technology is finally advancing to 21st Century standards.

Trump plans on increasing military spending by $54 billion, more than 150 times the amount that will be saved by cutting ARC and the Economic Development Administration.

Most recently, in January, the ARC announced $950,000 for the Power Lineman Career Education Program at Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap, and about $1.3 million was granted to the Abingdon-based Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing for the Heart of Appalachia Economic Transition Project. Some of those "underserved communities" are located in Coal Country, and many remain in dire need of support and investment. Its actions are expected to create or save more than 23,670 jobs and educate over 49,000 students of all ages due to the more than 650 projects that it has managed in 13 states between 2011 and 2015, according to the organization's statistics.

August said both agencies provide funds that help with water and sewer lines, which help attract business to rural areas.

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Appalachian Trump Supporters Worried By Trump's Budget