GOP governors battling Trump's budget in private: report

GOP governors battling Trump's budget in private: report
© Greg Nash

Some Republican governors are quietly pressuring lawmakers to oppose President Trump’s proposed cuts to the federal budget, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The governors are concerned about the budget’s cuts to regional job training and economic stimulus programs like the Delta Regional Authority and Appalachian Regional Commission.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin called Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney to protest the budget’s plan to defund the Appalachian Regional Commission, which steers millions of dollars in federal funds to 13 states, including Kentucky, the Times reported.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said he opposes the budget’s cuts to community development grants and the Appalachian and Mississippi Delta economic agencies.

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“The Appalachian Regional Commission, the Delta Regional Authority and the Community Development Block Grants are important resources that provide funding that benefits rural projects such as infrastructure improvement, job creation, technology upgrades and school programs,” Bentley said in a statement to the Times. 

“Along with my governor colleagues in the ARC and DRA, I look forward to sharing with Washington how vital these assets are to our poorest and smallest communities,” Bentley added.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson reportedly told the Trump administration he is against the proposed cuts to the Delta Regional Authority, which provided states $10 million in federal grants in 2016.

Mr. Hutchinson “wants to make sure the Delta is not cut off from necessary economic development funding. It’s a relied upon program,” spokesman J. R. Davis told the Times.

Mulvaney reportedly defended the cuts last week on a conference call with GOP governors, saying other cuts are necessary to fund military spending, the White House’s top priority. 

Other Republican governors, including Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, Gov. Eric Holcomb of Indiana and Gov. Bill Walker of Alaska, have also expressed concerns with the budget blueprints.