WASHINGTON — Ohio’s Democratic and Republican senators have joined a bipartisan effort urging President Donald Trump to reconsider proposed cuts to the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) in his budget blueprint.
In a letter sent to President Trump on Wednesday, Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman wrote, “eliminating this essential program would have devastating consequences for the more than 25 million Americans who live in the Appalachian Region today.” In an interview with AVC News, Sen. Brown said he’s seen the positive impact of the program in southeastern Ohio:
Brown and Portman say the ARC has invested in 25,000 projects in Appalachia since 1965, totaling $3.8 billion. They add that these investments are responsible for creating nearly 312,000 jobs and generating $10 billion in added earnings for the region.
Between October 2015 and January 2017, the Commission invested $170 million in the region and created or retained nearly 24,000 jobs.
Brown said the cuts fly in the face of promises President Trump made to southeastern Ohioans while campaigning in the region:
The ARC supports Ohio and twelve other states across Appalachia to stimulate local economies, provide job training, expand broadband access in rural areas and support local infrastructure needs.