Favorite

NewsBriefs 

Hefley seeks to kill economic aid to Appalachia

click to enlarge Congressman Joel Hefley
  • Congressman Joel Hefley

Congressman Joel Hefley, a big booster of government spending at Colorado Springs military installations, wants to kill a federal program that has helped build libraries, health clinics and wastewater treatment facilities in Appalachia.

Hefley last week proposed an amendment in Congress to cut the program's 2005 budget from $38.5 million to $10 million, with the goal of eventually eliminating the program entirely.

The program, known as the Appalachian Regional Commission, was created in the 1960s as part of the Johnson administration's War on Poverty. Its goal is to promote economic development in the crushingly poor region of Appalachia, stretching from Mississippi in the South to parts of New York state in the North.

Hefley derided the commission as "redundant" and ineffective, claiming it has done little to boost economic development. "It's time to phase out this program," he declared.

The proposal met strong resistance from Appalachian representatives.

"That's just wrong. It's crass, and it's craven," fumed Congressman Nick Rahall, a West Virginia Democrat.

Rahall said the commission "has dramatically improved life in Appalachia" by contributing to infrastructure such as wastewater storage and treatment facilities and programs to increase college attendance.

Hefley's amendment "will undo all those efforts" and harm the people of Appalachia, Rahall said. "This amendment would pull the rug out from underneath them."

Rep. Rick Boucher, a Virginia Democrat, called the commission a "tremendous force for progress" that has helped fund libraries and health clinics and given 800,000 people access to clean water and sanitation facilities.

Hefley ultimately offered to withdraw his amendment.

--Terje Langeland

  • Hefley seeks to kill economic aid to Appalachia

Readers also liked…

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Terje Langeland

Latest in Local News

Popular Events

  • "We CAN" Virtual Town Hall @ Library 21c

    • Wed., Feb. 22, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Free
  • Solarize the Springs Coffee Event @ Wild Goose Meeting House

    • Wed., Feb. 22, 5-6 p.m.
  • Community Blood Drive @ Fort Carson Post Exchange

  • Social Action Hour: Women's March Postcards (Get Involved)

    • Donations accepted
  • "Urban Peak: Homeless Youth Services" @ Library 21c

    • Free

Recent Comments

  • Re: Casting Spells

    • I want the world to know a great man that is well known as Dr…

    • on February 19, 2017
  • Re: Casting Spells

    • I want the world to know a great man that is well known as Dr…

    • on February 19, 2017
  • Re: Venetucci family member issues plea for farm

    • The Venetucci Farm has great historical value to the Colorado Springs area. Perhaps best known…

    • on February 18, 2017
  • More »

All content © Copyright 2017, The Colorado Springs Independent   |   Website powered by Foundation