Trump budget axes program that funds Alabama infrastructure projects

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ARC_Appalachian Regional CommissionThe Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), a government agency that has poured millions of dollars into Alabama’s economic development over the years, has found itself on the chopping block in President Donald Trump‘s budget proposal.

Founded in 1965, ARC is a federal-state partnership focused on economic development across the entire Appalachia region encompassing all of West Virginia and parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

ARC Economic FY2016In the Yellowhammer State, the ARC is a vital driver of the economy. Between October 2015 and January 2017 alone, the ARC supported 64 projects in Alabama totaling $11.2 million, the agency confirmed Thursday. These investments, which have been matched by $24.0 million and will attract an additional $21.6 million in leveraged private investments, also creates or retains nearly 900 jobs, trains and educates more than 14,000 students and workers, and benefits the 3 million residents in Alabama’s 37 Appalachian counties.

Those counties include: Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Colbert, Coosa, Cullman, De Kalb, Elmore, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Hale, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Macon, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Pickens, Randolph, St. Clair, Shelby, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Tuscaloosa, Walker, and Winston

The proposed elimination of the ARC comes as Trump looks to bolster the nation’s military, by increasing spending by $54 billion, and in turn paying for it by cutting it and other domestic programs. 19 independent agencies to be exact — those that exist outside of federal departments headed by a Cabinet secretary.

Here’s a complete list of all the agencies Trump’s proposes to eliminate:

  • African Development Foundation
  • Appalachian Regional Commission
  • Chemical Safety Board
  • Corporation for National and Community Service
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • Delta Regional Authority
  • Denali Commission
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • Inter-American Foundation
  • U.S. Trade and Development Agency
  • Legal Services Corporation
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation
  • Northern Border Regional Commission
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation
  • United States Institute of Peace
  • United States Interagency Council on Homelessness
  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Within the pages of the budget proposal, Trump calls his cuts both “sensible and rational.”

“Every agency and department will be driven to achieve greater efficiency and to eliminate wasteful spending in carrying out their honorable service to the American people,” he wrote.

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