REP. JENKINS VOTES TO PROTECT APPALACHIAN REGIONAL COMMISSION
WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) took action today to protect the Appalachian Regional Commission, voting to fund the program for the next fiscal year.
The administration’s budget had proposed eliminating the Appalachian Regional Commission, but Rep. Jenkins fought strongly for this program through his role on the House Appropriations Committee. On Wednesday, Rep. Jenkins voted in that committee to provide $130 million for the ARC in the Fiscal Year 2018 Energy & Water Appropriations bill.
“The Appalachian Regional Commission is an outstanding program that makes a difference every day in communities throughout West Virginia. As our state struggles to recover from eight years of devastating economic policies, we need programs like the ARC more than ever. I will continue to fight for West Virginia’s priorities on the Appropriations Committee and in Congress,” Rep. Jenkins said.
The bill includes other important West Virginia priorities, including funding for the Army Corps of Engineers and fossil energy research:
- $6.16 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, including $1.8 billion for flooding and storm damage reduction programs.
- $635 million for Fossil Energy Research and Development to advance our energy security by using coal, natural gas, oil and other fossil energy technologies.
- Prohibits restructuring and closing the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown.
- Includes language authorizing the Environmental Protection Agency administrator and the secretary of the Army to withdraw the Waters of the United States rule.
The committee also voted out the Fiscal Year 2018 Agriculture Appropriations bill, which included an amendment offered by Rep. Jenkins.
The amendment, adopted unanimously, adds $5 million for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to perform watershed rehabilitation projects in rural, flood-prone states like West Virginia. The funds will be used to rehabilitate aging dams and reduce flood, sedimentation and erosion damage.