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. Mark Yelka

    I'm a Republican and I enjoy NPR. I listen to the station out of Chapel Hill, NC. NPR might be more aptly accused of being boring. Sometimes the documentaries go on a bit too long. I find the hosts giving time to details with little emphasis on making judgements. The local talk radio WPTF doesn't compare in terms of depth of reporting and has advertisements as much as the primary content. And NPR has no commercials. I say to fellow Republicans: let's focus on bigger fish to fry.

    March 16, 2011 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  2. radioguy

    I've been in radio for more than 25 years and I bemoan the industry (especially in smaller markets) for simply becoming robo-stations with NO local content. These little money-greed machines are often own by impersonal corporations that care nothing for the community and would play "all dogs barking – all the time" if it turned a buck better than music. We NEED Public radio to raise the IQ of broadcasting.

    March 16, 2011 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  3. revinger

    keep npr running. it's a lot more fair and balanced than fox. and doesn't have all the sensational, tabloid garbage.

    March 16, 2011 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  4. edward hilton

    we should not be called the United States no more. Call us just North America. There is no more unity among people.

    March 16, 2011 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  5. Anonymous

    Feelings without ideas are empty; ideas without feelings are blind. We are creating a culture of morons and ideologues, and we'll pay the price, economically and socially. Please support NPR; call your congressional representative today.

    March 16, 2011 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  6. Sharp

    That will show those liberal pinkos who's boss. Time to let REAL Americans like Rush Limbaugh be the only voices heard. Better yet let's subsidize good old Rush with taxpayer money, strike a blow for what's right (far right).

    March 16, 2011 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  7. Juanita williamspaycheck

    hey fox.. Two million buys any news you can create like here in the separate country of fort country club militia kansas. No prayers ..only jack daniels profits. Koch industries and a failed worldwide redneck plantation military. Lets a make a christian loyalty oath. Cause we will never sign it. Lol

    March 16, 2011 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  8. Dave Richman

    CUT THEM OFF. There is not reason anymore for taxpayers to fund these turkeys. There are hundreds of cable outlets which now cover all community affairs very well. Liberals have had it good for too long on the taxpayers dime.

    March 16, 2011 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  9. syndr

    Don't do it guys,we need our npr.

    March 16, 2011 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  10. Munawar

    Looks like another good thing may go off the air because these "adults" are too politically driven to care about anything but their own party's reputation.

    March 16, 2011 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
  11. jules sand-perkins

    I'm not at all sure that we need NPR.
    Personally, I never listen to it.
    Much of our most important reporting comes through unsubsidized sources, such as the Couric interviews with Palin and the reporting we now have exposing Bachmann's education in American history.
    We did not need in-depth discussions of these events to understand them, as no editorials are needed to help us understand that the Japanese are suffering terribly–in fact, in a manner that cannot be explained in words.
    That's why Hemingway's style of writing became important.

    March 16, 2011 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  12. truthfulster

    "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." Boy is this guys head up his wazoo, NPR is used for predominantly liberal propaganda starting with Sesame Street all the way up to the news.

    March 16, 2011 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  13. John in WNY

    NPR needs to stand or fall on it's own.

    It might have made sense when there were few tv and radio stations but they are everywhere now, and most areas with cable have a public access channel provided as well, so there is no longer any need to use tax dollars to fund NPR.

    March 16, 2011 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  14. Proud member of "Globesl Zero"

    I do think that they can find money in other areas to balance the budget. I do know that not much is given in assistance by the government but in areas where fund raising is limited these funds are crucial. I do give to to my local stations. With the music and art programming this is a staple in my house. NPR is the only news station on my car radio here in south Florida. When you take away the educational programming from areas that really depend on it, I find this maddening. You would think that educating our children would be this congresses main priority, This is what you get when you elect the "Reality TV" crowd.

    March 16, 2011 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  15. Fair is Fair

    About time. Let this mouthpiece of left wing propoganda compete in the market like the rest of the media.

    March 16, 2011 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  16. bdude

    Just like the repugs, "Lets spew more propaganda,false statements for election purposes! What about Jobs! Oh,I forgot,that was election "False Information. How stupid of me to ask? Republicans, Thats what we all need,another "CRASH"

    March 16, 2011 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  17. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Over 95% of NPR programming is non-controversial and apolitical. The rest of the 5% is handled very carefully and is very well balanced. NPR has had far right-wing conservatives on its shows too. Where was the outrage over politicizations then?
    When liberals don't like a program, we just don't listen to it. When conservatives don't like a program, they want it to be censored.

    March 16, 2011 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  18. Peter E

    You do realize of course that republicans are just grandstanding on this issue. They are actually afraid of the prospect that the bill succeeds. Once NPR is stripped of federal money (which represents only about 5% of its total funding) they will lose their 'right' to complain about it, they will lose their 'right' to control its programming. Reublicans don't want federal money stripped from NPR anymore than they want it stripped from public universities (many of which also operate on only a a few percent, maybe few tens of percent public money) because it means they can no longer control them. And republicans only want control. They couldn't care less about a laughable $50 million in federal money.

    March 16, 2011 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  19. Jeff in Virginia

    Right, because this has everything to do with JOBS. You know.. the platform that the Republicans ran with?

    March 16, 2011 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  20. Anonymous

    And this creates jobs how? This is just more grandstanding and posturing by the Greedy Old Parasites with no clue how to create jobs and who only want to serve the filthy rich rather than the poor and middle class voters who make our nation great.

    March 16, 2011 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  21. curtis

    Further assault of the new Political Correctness. Welcome to Right Wing Political Correct at the barrel of a gun folks. The fascists are trying to shut down all unfriendly media and if you criticize them in any way they will come after you one way or another.

    March 16, 2011 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  22. Elphaba

    50 million dollars is a drop in the ocean. This bill, aimed at a single entity, sounds like the Republicans are trying to repress the free speech rights of NPR, a decidedly left leaning broadcast system.

    March 16, 2011 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  23. obama retoric

    what about the 105 billion one ribs and tater care from obama and the crooked dems, SHUT THE GOVT DOWN, do your jobs and stop them.

    March 16, 2011 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  24. CNN The Masters of Spin

    Bye Bye NPR.........I think they should seek their own funding from their the DMC & SEIU ..........or they can do like Rush Limbaugh & get their funding the same way he does......up oh....check that....can't work because they would NEVER make it w/out Gov funding.......things like NPR fails in a good ole Capitalistic society! Soon & very soon, the welfare, Freebee ride Dems have been enjoying will be over! Get A Job & Become A Conservative! Stop depending on a Government to take care of you!

    March 16, 2011 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  25. blaqmajik

    Ron Schiller should not have resigned. He did nothing wrong but state his opinion. Why not show the other side of their story? The righgt wing would have not had a problem if he said he loved the Tea party. Everything he said was the truth.

    March 16, 2011 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
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