(CNN) The House of Representatives is planning to vote this Thursday on a bill barring federal funding for National Public Radio.
The new push in the House to defund the public broadcasting outlet comes after a conservative activist secretly taped an NPR fundraising executive, Ron Schiller, criticizing Tea Party supporters and saying NPR would be better off without federal money.
Schiller's responsibilities did not include newsgathering operations. Schiller immediately resigned after NPR management forcefully repudiated his comments, saying they don't reflect NPR positions.
The House voted Tuesday to cut $50 million from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which helps support NPR, in its bill to keep the government running for the next three weeks. Separately the House voted last month to zero out all federal funding for the CPB as part of its bill to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year. But that bill failed to pass the Senate and Senate Democrats are unlikely to include the NPR provision in any compromise measure they are negotiating with House Republicans. The embarrassing video has re-energized GOP efforts to cut off funding for NPR.
Colorado Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn, who unsuccessfully tried to strip federal funding for NPR last year, introduced the new stand alone bill Tuesday. It would bar any of NPR's affiliate radio stations across the country from using any federal funds to purchase any programming from NPR.
According to NPR's website, it provides content to 900 independent stations, reaching 27.2 million listeners every week.
Oregon Democratic Rep Earl Blumenauer circulated a letter to House members Tuesday citing press reports that he said demonstrated the conservative activist who set up the taping, James O'Keefe, "deceptively edited" the video to target NPR.
Blumenauer urged House members to oppose any cuts to NPR funding. "Every month, more than 170 million Americans tune in to public broadcasting for information about their communities, and recent polling shows that Americans consider federal investment in public broadcasting to be second only to money for our troops as the best use of taxpayer dollars."
Ya gotta love the GOP's laser like focus on creating jobs.... /sarcasm.
As a listener of NPR I hope the bill doesn't pass. I hope the Dems will make a really big public issue out of the fact that the GOP is trying to shut down a radio station system that is not particularly friendly to GOP causes. After claiming that Omaba is a socialist/fascist, shutting down NPR funding sounds really fascist to me.