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. Thersa

    James O'Keefe once again edited his tapes to tell lies. Schiller was passing on the opinion of two Republicans who voted for Obama because they couldn't stand the right-wing of their own party. O'Keefe cuts Schiller's sentence right where he says this is the opinion of these 2 other guys. It's cut right in the middle of the sentence. He is shameless. Go to Media Matters if you want to hear the whole tape.

    March 16, 2011 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  2. Aaron

    The Repubs are using budget cutting to silence opposition and promote their social agenda. It would be a brilliant plan if it weren't so sickening to be happening in a democracy and dangerous for the continuation of the democracy. But, the billionaire Koch brothers have bought and paid for the Repub legislators, so they won't bite the hands that feed them.

    March 16, 2011 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  3. michael

    Yeah that it will stick it to educated liberals speaking intelligence over the airwaves. The republicans do not want the masses to hear truth. Just like they say It's bias when NPR has rightwingers on all the time. Way to go O' Keefe going after such power houses such as ACORN and NPR. Organizations that no one knows of and barely gets any funding from the government. If James O' Keefe is humor to the right, then their sense of humor dryer then the British. Also the tea party is racist, go on YouTube and look it up.

    March 16, 2011 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  4. Palin Power

    NPR is a LIBERAL LEFTIST SOCIALIST COMMUNIST FRONT and a CANCER to this country! This is a clear sign that Sarah Palin will be president in 2012! She will completely eliminate NPR and PBS off the air for their liberal commie socialist agenda. Our country will be so much better off without NPR and PBS!

    March 16, 2011 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
  5. sam23

    Leaving out the part where he said he had been a Republican all his life and where he told the donors there was a firewall and they could not expect a donation to have any effect on NPR's reporting of news was deceptive? go figure

    March 16, 2011 03:24 am at 3:24 am |
  6. JHA in Texas

    The Colorado House Rep. (R/GOP) is outstanding example of GOP Tea Party folks focusing on fiscal ants while fiscal ELEPHANTS surround them. Why do you concentrate on the smallest slice of the budget pie? This budget should have passed last year, no you guys were too busy holding hostage Unemployment assistance and 9 / 11 1st responders Medical Covereage. The hostage unitl the President & Congress agreed to your ransom demands of passage of unfunded Bush Taxs for Weallthy Americans (how soon you forgot about the 9 / 11 1st responders you hailed as heroes in your GOP Tea Party political commercials).

    This country is in financial crisis, perhaps not Wall Street, but for the new poor, the old poor and middle class are cutting coupons, having difficulty paying monthly bills, and sometimes not having enough money to take the kids to the doctor. One out of every seven families is forced to seek government assistance to put food on the table. Imagine, in a country as rich as ours more children are going to bed hungry at night. Stop wasting your time and pick budget number that will do no harm to the American people and move on to bigger problems. GOP Tea Party campaign promises of JOB CREATION. That should be next on your agenda, followed by tax reform – corporate loopholes, oil tax credits, possibly financial transaction tax ( England already has Stock Transfer Tax} Wall Street will not mind they are too busy oil /gas speculations right now.
    Next deficit, followed by debt ceiling increase. So many fiscal elephants, just pass last years budget – leave fiscal ants.

    March 16, 2011 03:45 am at 3:45 am |
  7. J.V.Hodgson

    Ah Ha now I get republican mentality.A liberal makes a gaffe (the two Schillers maybe ) and those are sufficient
    a) To get the incumbents relieved from employment... no unions to help sorry.
    b) But when Bachman gaffes its the media hounding her unjustly!
    PBS is currently the best "balanced News" TV or radio agency in the US.
    I am fed up Fox news or MSNBC clearly politically biased so called news coverage. I get a more balanced reasonable outline of the issues from PBS. Double thier government funding ala UK BBC.
    De-funding them is a crime against Republican and tea party principles so avidly supported of freedom of speech.
    Ooops forget only when it agrees with Republican Ideology all of the time.
    Ooops remember again how it goes "you can fool all of the people some of the time , and some of the peole all the time etc etc.
    You are stitching yourselves up to lose the next election.
    You have just lost my vote forver and you cn blame Bachman or the teapaty she represents for being totally duplicitous

    March 16, 2011 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  8. Jay Henderson

    What the hell does this have to do with Jobs, NOT A THING. WHY DID I VOTE FOR REPUBLICANS.

    March 16, 2011 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  9. Marie MD

    Because nothing says communism and nazism than trying to quelch the voices that are not only smarter than you but that don't believe the same you do in all they do.
    Oh yes, the autocracy party of NO!

    March 16, 2011 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  10. Maddy

    "House Republicans schedule Thursday vote to bar federal money for NPR."
    Isn't that a surprise.
    How I wish we could shut them up!
    NPR offers a different POV and they just cannot abide it.

    March 16, 2011 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  11. John

    Based on the comments of their own executives, NPR/CPB doesn't need federal funding. I support ending federal funding for NPR. and CPB If you want these entities to continue functioning – you should reach into your own pocket and support them

    March 16, 2011 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  12. William Fuller

    This author doesn't even realize the truth behind the highly edited tape produced by O'Keefe. The tape when fully shown clearly has the CEO indicating that the feelings about the Tea Party racists was reflective of GOP leaders he knew. Watch the whole thing. Again, O'Keefe can't handle the truth as he tries to bathe himself in Veritas. He's a manipulative tool. But does CNN have to be a tool too?

    March 16, 2011 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  13. Justin

    I'm starting to think the label "lame stream media" is appropriate. O'Keefe says it, CNN reports it, no questions asked. Glenn Beck – if all people, Glenn Beck – exposed the fraudulent nature of O'Keefe's latest video on his own website, The Blaze. That alone should have piqued the interest of any actual journalist at CNN, or any other news organization, and prompted him or her to question whether or not O'Keefe's video is fake. Of course, they did not. And when you consider that O'Keefe has been caught in multiple lies and crimes – including dressing up as a public employee and trying to sneak into a federal office, and trying to get one of CNN's own reporters isolated on a boat filled with sex toys – the fact that anything he says is considered credible is alarming. NPR overreacted by firing Ron and Vivian Schiller, and other MSM outlets – particularly CNN – have been pitiful and scornworthy in their unquestioning acceptance of anything that O'Keefe and the rest of the right-wing media churns out.

    March 16, 2011 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  14. midloo

    Good – cut it all off you foolish Republicans. Just lay more of your partisan cards down and make a further case for your irrationality. Give us yet one more reason to vote you back out of office!

    March 16, 2011 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  15. Whammybar

    I don't get it. This Okeefe guy entraps and tricks this NPR employee and I see nothing about how wrong it was. This guy is up on charges for illegal wire tapping and he's basically a trouble maker. Why isn't anyone tearing him apart in the news.
    The self righteous right can't stand the truth so they are going after an open wound trying to cut the funding. If NPR goes away it makes it easier for them to spread their lies and half truths.

    March 16, 2011 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  16. Ray

    Police state here we come!!!!!

    March 16, 2011 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  17. johng

    So there you have it. Cut out less than half a BILLION dollars out of 1.2 TRILLION dollar annual deficit, pat yourselves on the back, and leave work with your fellow republicans for a drink to the club. Let no good use of the taxpayer dollar go unpunished. And, BTW, continue to let medicare, medicaid, and social security's problems, the true fiscal time bomb, go unaddressed. A democracy in action. God help us.

    March 16, 2011 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  18. Jason

    Way to go Congress. Defund Public Radio.
    Hey, that means more money to wage war!

    March 16, 2011 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  19. notyourname

    Here's hoping this passes. It's about time people actually start experiencing consequences for their idiocy in this country. Nobody forced NPR to hire a complete douche bag as it's chief fundraising exec.

    March 16, 2011 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  20. So sad

    More proof that republicants are afraid of Americans hearing the truth. They are gonna burn all science books next 🙁

    March 16, 2011 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  21. NoMore

    De-fund them, no more tax dollars if they can't stand on their own too bad.

    March 16, 2011 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  22. JLR

    Yet another reason to dislike the republicans. I predict the death of the GOP will be a faster than was previously expected.

    March 16, 2011 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  23. Ray Woodard

    Good, the GOP filth shouldnt taint the waters anyway. But their efforts coincide with the long assumed notion that republican leadership would rather have an uninformed citizenry anyways. Easier for them to continue their schemes when the people are ignorant. Hope their children grow up stupid and slaves to China, i would be laughing all the way to the bank.

    March 16, 2011 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  24. Over Tea Pee'd

    Yet they want tax breaks for big oil and tax cuts for those poor, poor "middle-class" folks making over $300,000.00 a year. The last dying gasp of the GOP, they are history this time.

    March 16, 2011 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  25. dentri

    Hmmm.Then why the CEO left and other President vicepresident left....Because they are edit it??/This is crazy.I tell you the truth i don't like Democrats agenda >They do need some kind of their radio station to fight agaist republicans la Rush,or Sean hannity or Mike reagan.I can't believe they have a radio station which can be a good business.(reason is they always are in the wrong track America)You can[t have subject which matter the most for every human (God,abortion,marriage,Guns,NAscar,)Their Jurnalist like Obelrman,Huffinton,Sen Frank ) are'[t soul for their party they use their party for their own goodl. Republicans in the flip side of the coin they believe and they choose the right subject which you can talk forever.NPR must to go private if they belive they can be in good business.Everybody know now how much the hate white people,jews,tea party or anybody who is against the Democratic party....Good luck but I will always bet my money in those who choose helthy subject ofr nation.Its not day from God in last election ,NPR taling about gay marriage or tea party or Bush who got all the negative from this Station.They praise OBama even if is wrong and weak they can't stand white smart people ...They fire good jurnalist because he work for Fox News Juan Williams.

    March 16, 2011 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
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