House Republicans schedule Thursday vote to bar federal money for NPR
March 15th, 2011
08:01 PM ET
12 years ago

House Republicans schedule Thursday vote to bar federal money for NPR

(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."

Filed under: House of Representatives • James O'Keefe • NPR
soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. ed

    Cut NPR's funding this week and then Planned Parenthood next week and then it's "who's next?"

    March 15, 2011 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  2. phil

    With all our national issues, the House Republicans decide bashing NPR is a priority? Get Real or Get Out.

    March 15, 2011 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  3. NPR Supporter

    Keep the funding for NPR. They do very balanced reporting for the most part, and it's informative even if you don't always agree with what is being reported.

    For those who I know in advance will say, "it's a liberal network, defund it! I don't want my taxpayer dollars funding some liberal station"–

    My taxpayer dollars are going towards many things I don't like either, such as a pair of wars overseas that do not appear to be an efficient use of my money. Taxpayer money is spent by the government as it sees fit to benefit the people of the nation it serves, and the government has indicated that it wants an educated populace by funding National Public Radio. If you don't like it, vote in a different government. You have the power of the vote.

    I did my duty in the last election and voted; it didn't turn out the way I wanted, but such is the way of life in this country. You don't always win, and NPR's allotted funds are a small fraction of a percentage of the national budget. If that tiny amount educates millions of people just by turning on the radio, then I consider it money well spent. Were I still in the education profession, I would encourage my students to listen to NPR and/or their local affiliate.

    March 15, 2011 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  4. Former Republican

    Where are the jobs republicans?

    March 15, 2011 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  5. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Look out. Big Bird is next. He's yellow, so he can't be trusted!!

    Where are the JOBS, you clowns!!

    March 15, 2011 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  6. once upon a horse

    all NPR needs to do is start carrying some right wing talk show hosts on their network and everything will be fine. We in America can not have stations that stress such stuff as education and diversity. It kind of makes people that can think for themselves not want to vote Republican.

    March 15, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  7. amit

    These are the Talibans of America. They hate any news source that provides unbiased reporting because truth makes the republicans look bad. It was for them, Fox "News" channel would be the only channel on TV

    March 15, 2011 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  8. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    No one should believe what they see or hear from that creep, unless there is independent confirmation.

    March 15, 2011 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  9. M. Wagner

    How does that punk Mckeefe get away with that crap. He should be in jail from the first crap he pulled. All he is a 6th grade bully. Punks like him graduate and everybody blames it on the teachers. Blame the parents.

    March 15, 2011 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  10. w l jones

    The House Republican want to take our country back to dark age so every they say is inspied by God. Please.!

    March 15, 2011 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  11. Warren

    Way to bury thepositive info and the fact that O'Keefe's set up convo and obvious chop job totally invalidate the Tea Party's false claims. It's clear where you guys stand on this... way to be unbiased.

    March 15, 2011 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Will this create any jobs? No. Get back to work you little babies, and at least pretend to act like you're trying to live up to your JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! campaign promises.

    March 15, 2011 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  13. lgny

    NPR provides excellent reporting via both All Things Considered and Morning Edition. They cover stories in greater depth than the commercial channels and cover a broader range of stories.

    I listen to it every day when commuting to and from the office and almost daily come away with useful insights into events worldwide. That's much more than can be said for any other news radio network which mainly just repeats the headlines over and over again.

    March 15, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  14. Liz the First

    And the war on intelligence continues by the party that has none. republicans want the people of this country to be stupid and uneducated because the stupid and uneducated are the ones they can sucker into voting for them.

    March 15, 2011 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  15. Four and The Door

    There is no justification for taking tax dollars to fund NPR. This is an organization more appropriately funded privately, if at all. It serves no public necessity.

    March 15, 2011 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  16. ballarat99

    Republicans vote to defund the only independent voice. Typical.

    March 15, 2011 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  17. Bonnie

    Where are the jobs?

    March 15, 2011 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  18. Mike in Texas

    Let's ban funding because of one person's stupidity. Now that is stupidity.

    March 15, 2011 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  19. OneMoreTime

    One of two things: Either the Republicans, who are so obviously afraid of a minor group called the Tea Party, know they
    can play this card because the Senate will not pass it, thereby saving their collective asses, OR, they are saying that
    stupid statements from one guy can take down an entire organization. Therefore, so many stupid statements from
    Pubs/Teas allows us to eliminate their salaries. Works for me, since these people only work for themselves anyway.

    March 15, 2011 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  20. vriper

    Yeah, let's get NPR and all that fact-based reporting and other interesting and informative programming OFF THE AIR. It's been a thorn in the side of rhetorical reporting and mind-numbiing idiot shows for years.

    March 15, 2011 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  21. California Conservative

    This is an EXCELLENT idea.

    DO IT!

    March 15, 2011 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  22. Charlie from the North

    The truth has liberal bias the GOP should learn to live with that. NPR is not biased. Oh sure, compared the knuckle dragging neanderthals (sorry to any offended neanderthals) at Fox News NPR might seem liberal but they are the original fair and balanced news corp.

    March 15, 2011 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  23. Lula In CA

    Talk about your thugs. Anything to shut up any kind of debate, open or not. Who do these ideologically blind politicians think they are helping with this? NPR is a national treasure. Leave it alone!

    March 15, 2011 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  24. The reality is...

    ...if 170 million people want to keep listening NPR shouldn't have any problem finding enough money from a base of supporters like that to stay afloat.

    March 15, 2011 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  25. T'sah from Virginia

    The Democrats should bar the Koch Brothers from donating money to the RepubliCAN'T's cause after that EMBARRASSING conversation between WALKER and the FAKE Koch brother!!!

    And WOW, this cut will aid in keeping "...the government running for the next three weeks." Really?

    The RepubliCAN'Ts are set to get their way – little by little – and the deficit will remain the same – nearly UNTOUCHED and they would succeed in busting everything that keeps the middle class going whiel they continue to give TAX BREAMS to BIG CORPS and the RICH!! In the meantime, where are the JOBS???

    But then again, the RepubliCAN'Ts don't have to worry about JOBS – BIG CORPs/BIGsmallBusinesses are in their "back pockets" and the Corps will hire NOW – when they could have a year ago – just to fulfill the RepubliCAN'T's campaign promise!!! It's all a GAME!!!

    March 15, 2011 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
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