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. Sue

    Let's see....How can this be made clear......Being that NPR proved that they are nothing but a liberal mouth piece using tax payers' money.....Let the liberals alone make donations to them!!

    Republicans, Independents, and moderate Dems pay the majority of taxes, not the liberals. Therefore, their taxes should NOT be used on this mouth piece for liberals. Let the liberals contribute and pay for them.

    March 15, 2011 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  2. Patriot

    Big Bird must really scare the pants of those wing nuts.

    March 15, 2011 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  3. gerry luimes

    Public Broadcasts usually are of very good quality.An added bonus is the lack of many ad.interruptions,saving your(the viewer) sanity and remote control life span. Political hype could be curtailed; Not NPB.

    March 15, 2011 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  4. Voice of Reason

    Yes, dear House reps – Can you please show the world that you are held at the beck-and-call of the Tea Party.

    Are you such cowards that one punk 'gotcha' filmographer can get you all falling over each other to pander to the right-wing Teanuts?

    Get a little backbone stupid, and get back to what really matters.

    March 15, 2011 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  5. John N Florida

    "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."
    Glenn Beck, of all people, blew the whistle on O'Keefe.

    March 15, 2011 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  6. ingrid

    Ugh. RNC leave NPR alone. We all need it. NPR is an unbiased source of news if it looses funding, it will be holden to corporate/commercials to fund itself and it will start functioning like mainstream news which means it will lack detailed, researched news stories and become hollowed out journalism focusing only on the sensational.

    March 15, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  7. craig

    NPR is one of the best ideas or programs the government has ever supported, to cut funding would be asinine and provides great unbiased information and Great entertainment. I have totally lost any faith in a government that would allow such a program to be cut. Wake up and smell the coffee Republicans..just beacuse you don't like what somebody say's, the facts hurt and the truth must be voiced !!

    March 15, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  8. Darrell

    So, instead of standing up the the major corporations that taking US tax breaks and then invest/hire outside the US or take away the tax breaks from oil/gas industries, the Republicans go after NPR/PBS...not only are they afraid of honest, intellectual debates as was well as great quality programming provided by NPR/PBS, they are afraid of the anti-intellectual Tea Party crowd. Shameful! You fools who think that NPR/PBS will die without federal funding, you are mistaken...I will double my donations and help to recruit new members.

    March 15, 2011 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  9. Weeper of the House: Two and the Door, off the stool on the floor

    This gangster group of Republican thugs that are polluting the House will be voted out in 2012, and once again it will be up to the Democrats to clean up the epic mess the Repugs have made. Once again, quit they need to cease with the Taliban style of governing. Try as they might, we will not be silenced, nor will we forget when we put the GOP out of business permanently in 2012.

    March 15, 2011 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  10. Zip

    It is a Fox Fake News world.

    March 15, 2011 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    These people don't understand that NPR brings news on the radio dial where there is either limited or none. Most of the money comes from the listeners. There are small markets out there that can't support themselves which is why they get federal support. How many news organizations can isolate their reporters and have them all over? James O'Keefe is a known propagandist. He has taken many things out of context or edited them to advance his socially conservative agenda. There should be no reason to take anything he does as journalism; only taken as a smear campaign.

    I wonder how of these republicans actually listen to an NPR station. I doubt that they do because they are told not to by the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, and Ann "I'm really a self-hating liberal" Coulter. How many conservatives have been on NPR? Just as many as liberals which I guess upsets people like James O'Keefe and other reactionaries that don't like anyone having freedom other than themselves.

    March 15, 2011 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  12. Robert Cloosdoosh

    James O'Okeefe is a lying slilmeball. Ths is not about saving money, it is about politics, just like everything else the GOP has done.

    March 15, 2011 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  13. The Other Dale

    What do they plan to do now that O'Keefe's video has been proven to be another hatchet edited job just like the ACORN one? Oh, that's right. It'll be ignored because that'll be admitting they've been had by a hack like O'Keefe.

    March 15, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  14. Lola

    Both sides of the issue would be much better without government funding. Without government funding, NPR can streamline it's programming to cater to it's listeners and supporters: liberal, left, centrist, right, whatever. Likewise, conservatives can stop crying foul every time they feel they are not represented in NPRs programming. Honestly, I used to listen to NPR and supported it for a while but I finally stopped with so many other media outlets available.

    March 15, 2011 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  15. Ronald Morris

    I would really like to know where Rep Blumenauer found a survey that said funding NPR was more important than Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, gasoline prices, jobs, mortgage foreclosures just to name a few.

    March 15, 2011 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  16. Scott

    Wow, so even when Glenn Beck (who is not a liberal) comes out and says the video was heavily edited and tampered with to make it look like Schiller was saying inflamatory things about the Tea Party movement (later proven to be false)...the GOP still wants to defund? What a bunch of jerks. Honestly. Not only do they want to prevent NPR from doing anything but it will have an adverse impact on the 900 local stations across the country (in many of these neo-conservatives) home districts, 20,000 people who work in public broadcasting and the immense number of kids who rely on not just NPR but PBS for educational purposes.

    Thank god the Democrats control the Senate and the Presidency and won't let this even come close to becoming law. Hopefully, some of these bums will be thrown out in 2012 and some more moderate and reasonable Republicans and/or Democrats can come in and actually solve our economic problems instead of cutting programs like HeadStart, the EPA, the Commerce Department or funding for colleges or even funding for AIDS research. You guys are just laughable. Shame on you.

    March 15, 2011 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  17. GonzoinHouston

    Yet another symbolic vote that will not go anywhere in the Senate. When will these TP's learn? 2012? One can only hope.

    March 15, 2011 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  18. Thomas

    O'Keefe lied. the premise of bias is absolutely false. If anyone takes the time to watch the mostly unedited video that O'Keefe released on his site proves that he edited the video to give a false perception about the NPR execs.

    March 15, 2011 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  19. Jeff

    This tape has been shown to have been edited by Ron Schiller who has a long history of doing this same type of not quite honest representations of the facts. Why do we jump to the conclusion that this tape was anything other than a shame. When are we going to assume that if it has Scheller's name attached to it that it needs to be taken with a whole carton of salt.

    March 15, 2011 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  20. criscocorner

    I cannot believe these guys. This is political move and not deficit cutting. If there were deficit cutting, you would expect a 10 percent cut across the board for NPR funding. Instead, they are targeting NPR.

    How about defunding this line item "Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $48,389,120 advance acquisition contract to provide long lead parts and components required for the manufacture of 26 Lot 9 UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopters for the Marine Corps: ". We could eliminate the helicopter purchase and have enough money for NPR.

    Which benefits the country: 26 helicopters or NPR? NPR does.

    March 15, 2011 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  21. Sonnie

    Federal Money for NPR should be stopped. They can stand on their own or fall on their own. Tax payer should not have
    to support then. It is just not right nor proper. WE are in debt up to our nose and let the chopping block go to work

    March 16, 2011 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  22. Thinks2010

    Job creation anyone? Nope–GOP's focused on bigger issues like crushing NPR. Shame, shame, shame.

    March 16, 2011 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  23. thomas

    You Republican PUNKS start messin with BIG BIRD or the News Hour , I'l make sure your own children unplug you then eat you ! Mr Rogders and I will take you out !

    March 16, 2011 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  24. al in memphis

    In some of the very rural towns, the best signal you can get with the ditigal network is from public tv. The local stations signal is less than reliable and some people don't have the disposable income to pay cable tv. Well, this is public radio, but the message is the same. Take away from those who are in the least position to have a voice. Why are we still subsidizing big oil companies and business are given multi-million dollar, multi-year tax breaks just to move from city to city. Cut some of the military spending from the budget and force a small portion of the contractors to do something else to contribute to the GDP

    March 16, 2011 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  25. bobden

    So the repugs want to 'defund' any and everyone who does not agree completely with their position on any and everything.
    I guess they don't want anyone thinking any thing they weren't told to think.

    March 16, 2011 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
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