“@Rep.MikeHonda: GOP cripples #NPR funding, hurting 900 stations and endangering 9000 jobs. 70% of America support NPR. Political silencing at its worst.”
So Tweeted the Representative from California’s 15th congressional district, even before the House voted 228-192 to approve a measure that defunds National Public Radio (NPR). H.R. 1076, sponsored by Rep. Doug Lamborn bans any federal money from going to NPR, including funding through competitive federal grants and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Last year Lamborn unsuccessfully tried to strip NPR of federal funding too.
Yesterday’s vote comes after an earlier vote this month meant to cut $50 million from the CPB which helps support NPR. The Republican controlled House says this cut is apart of their big picture plan to reduce spending, cut the deficit and keep the government running for the next three weeks.
It’s “wait-and-see” as to whether yesterday’s move will in fact lower the budget, if it even makes it past the Senate – unlikely.
When the House previously voted to strip CPB of its funding, it failed to past the Senate and like that measure, this one will most likely face the same fate. Even if Senate Republicans can garner enough support for the bill, or if overall budget issue results in its passage, the White House has all but said it will veto the measure.
The Obama Administration issued a statement on the matter saying that undercutting funding for NPR would result in rural communities losing valuable programming and some stations shutting down. The Administration “strongly opposes” passage of H.R. 1076, a bill backed by House Republicans that would eliminate taxpayer funds for National Public Radio.
According to a recently released statement, the Administration said that “CPB serves an important public purpose in supporting public radio, television, and related online and mobile services.”
Most Democrats and seven Republicans who broke with House leadership believe the bill does nothing to lower the deficit. They counter that the GOP is making an example of NPR because it disagrees with its content. Many Republicans believe the content is all liberal rhetoric and that their constituents should not have to pay for that.
Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York, the ranking Democrat on the Rules Committee, called the bill a “purely ideological bill so members can go home and brag about what they have done to NPR” when they head to their home districts this week for a weeklong recess, The Washington Post reported.
Congressman Andre Carson (D) from Illinois’ 7th district had this to say of yesterday’s vote:
The vote to end federal funding for public radio stations across the country is just the latest attempt at legislation that completely disregards the most important issue facing Americans – creating jobs.
Well said Congressman because this bill – should it become law – will put an additional 9,000 American out of work. Is that really anything to go home and brag about?