Regional budget cut

Since President Trump took office in January, Kentuckians (especially those in southern and eastern regions) have rallied around their leader. With promises of a better healthcare plan and to bring back coal, what was once the sustenance for southern and eastern Kentucky’s economies, it seems that the ‘America’ in cries of “America first!” may actually begin to apply to Appalachia.

January far behind, concrete policies have now begun to flow from Trump’s office—something both opponents and supporters have been awaiting hungrily. Trump’s recent budget proposal has earned praise and criticisms from many.

The defunding of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a point that has warranted denouncement from figures who have traditionally stood by Trump and congressmen such as Representative Hal Rogers and Senator Mitch McConnell.

“We’re not going to allow any cuts to the Appalachian Regional Commission. That’s very important to eastern Kentucky; has been for a number of years. That’s not going to happen,” said Senator McConnell.

The ARC is a collaboration of local, state and federal governments that operates to provide assistance to economically distressed areas within the Appalachian region. The majority of these distressed areas are located in southern and eastern Kentucky.

Nearly immediately following the release of his budget dealing blows to Kentucky and other states in the Appalachian region, Trump held a rally in Louisville, speaking on a number of topics and warranting cheers from the many attendants.

Are Kentuckians unaware of the detrimental effects eliminating funding to the ARC would create for their state? Are they uncaring? Or do they believe (despite claims by analysts) that Trump’s proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency will more than offset the loss of support provided by the ARC?

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