Meadows Doesn't Want To See ARC Cut
Western North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows chairs the ‘Freedom Caucus’, a group of hardline conservatives known for their aversion to government spending and desire for deep budget cuts. But there’s one federal program Meadows does not want to see slashed. It’s one that operates in his backyard.
The Appalachian Regional Commission gives federal funding to parts of 13 U.S. states to aid job creation and infrastructure upgrades. Congressman Meadows Western North Carolina district almost entirely lies within the ARC’s operating area. In his budget proposal, President Donald Trump completely defunds the commission. Meadows says that’s one spending cut he could do without. “As someone who has seen the benefit of the Appalachian Regional Commission, I have already reached to try to share those benefits with the (Trump) administration", the Congressman says. "It has provided a critical component for some of the activity we have done in Western North Carolina.”
The areas the Appalachian Regional Commission serves are represented predominantly by Republicans, so Meadows will not be the only GOP voice in the ear of the administration on the matter. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has been a long supporter of the commission, which gives funds to the eastern part of his home state Kentucky. In the last two years, the ARC has given just over $175-million in grants. Discretionary spending in President Trump’s budget proposal totals more than $1 trillion.