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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. 

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016. Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C. For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor. Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis. Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.
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