FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s proposal to eliminate the Appalachian Regional Commission has alarmed many throughout the region that have relied on the federal agency for a job.
The 52-year-old commission has created jobs in 420 counties across 13 states. Founded as part of the 1960s “war on poverty,” the agency has spent $175.7 million creating nearly 24,000 jobs in the last two years.
Republican U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers called Trump’s proposal “careless and counterproductive.” But many Republican leaders in the region, including Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, say government programs are not the answer to the area’s problems.
West Virginia construction worker Jacob Dyer owes his job to the commission. He hopes Trump will reconsider. He tells the Associated Press that if Trump knew what this program has done and supports, he thinks it would possibly change his mind.