Scenic photo of Dismals Canyon

Congressman Aderholt Brings Amendment to House Floor to Increase ARC Funding

June 20, 2007
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) today introduced an amendment to the 2008 Energy and Water Appropriations bill that increases funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) by $30 million. The amendment was co-sponsored by Congressman Zack Space (D-OH 18). Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development Chairman Peter Visclosky has said he will work with Aderholt and Space on their funding increase request.

“ARC has proven to be a real benefit to Alabama and the 12 other member states,” said Congressman Aderholt. “It has provided funding to needy communities that might not otherwise have been available, creating jobs and opportunity as a result.”

Established by Congress in 1965, ARC was created to address the persistent poverty and growing economic despair of the Appalachian Region, extending from southern New York to northeast Mississippi. At that time, one of every three Appalachians lived in poverty, per capita income was 23 percent lower than the U.S. average, and high unemployment and harsh living conditions had, in the 1950s, forced more than 2 million Appalachians to leave their homes and seek work in other regions.

“The Administration’s proposed ARC funding level was cut by $30 million, a cut that would have been devastating to ARC and its member states. I’d like to thank Congressman Space for working with me in order to restore full funding and Chairman Visclosky for his commitment to work with us on this issue,” continued Congressman Aderholt.

Today, ARC works with the people of Appalachia to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development to bring the area to socio-economic parity with the rest of the country. The restoration of ARC funds will be offset by a $30 million reduction to the Department of Energy’s administrative account.

Congressman Aderholt concluded, “I recognize the importance of ARC for North Alabama and will continue to work to ensure that Congress and the Administration see this importance as well.”