House Republicans vote to eliminate federal funding for NPR, Dems fight back
March 17th, 2011
03:27 PM ET
12 years ago

House Republicans vote to eliminate federal funding for NPR, Dems fight back

Washington (CNN) – In a mostly party line vote, Republicans voted 228 to 192, to strip National Public Radio of all federal funding.

The standalone measure, introduced Tuesday by Colorado Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn, bars any of NPR's affiliate radio stations across the country from using any federal funds to purchase any programming from NPR. The vote is a victory for Lamborn, who tried unsuccessfully to strip federal funding for NPR last year.

According to NPR's website, it provides content to 900 independent stations, reaching 27.2 million listeners every week.

An analysis done by the House Democratic minority reported some 414 stations which provide 7,800 jobs in 280 congressional districts would be affected should the cuts go through.
Seven Republicans did vote against the measure, and one member voted present.

Democrats tried unsuccessfully to get a majority of House members to oppose the measure, and at least one member used parliamentary inquiries to try to stall a vote. Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner, New York, jumped on Republicans for allegedly breaking their own rules during debate on the measure.

First, he objected to consideration of the bill saying it violated a Republican-imposed House rule, "which requires 72 hour layover of the bill and it to be electronically noticed in order for it to be considered by the House." He then held up a sign with a quote from House Speaker John Boehner and read aloud, "I will not bring a bill to the floor that hasn't been posted online for at least 72 hours."

Republican Rep. Ted Poe, Texas, who was sitting in the chair, responded that the rule is not predicated on a number of hours, "but rather on a number of calendar days." He said that since the measure had been electronically available online since Tuesday that would constitute three calendar days, thus not breaking any rules.

When that didn't work, Weiner returned to the floor Thursday afternoon and tried to shame his Republican colleagues into voting against the bill. He mockingly thanked Republicans for calling an, "emergency session," to eliminate funding for popular programs like "Car Talk."

"Crisis averted, ladies and gentlemen," he said. "I'm glad we got the economy back going. I'm so glad we secured our nuclear power plants. So glad Americans are back to work. We discovered a target we can all agree upon. It's these guys. This is the problem. - it's Click and Clack." Weiner had a poster of the show's hosts Tom and Ray Maggliozzi (who refer to themselves as Click and Clack) over his shoulder while speaking.

Cartalk is a weekend entertainment program that offers advice to listeners on things like car repairs, and sometimes personal dilemmas.

Weiner joked, "Now, let's look at the record here. For one, they talk in that Boston accent. "Car Talk." It's car, congressmen. Second, they talk about master cylinders. It's kinky. I am glad my Republican friends are finally getting to the bottom of this."

Weiner then took a final jab at his Republican colleagues saying, he was sure that getting rid of "Car Talk" was in their 2010 campaign promises.

"All of these guys that finally are going to be taken off the public payroll. The Republican party, no one can say they are not in touch. They get it. They understand where the American people are. The American people are not concerned about the economy around the world. They're staring at their radio station saying, 'Get rid of Click and Clack,'" Weiner said.

Filed under: House • NPR
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. eric

    That's funny!

    March 17, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. one voice

    The RIDICULOUS GOP will continue to pander to the MEGA RICH, OIL COMPANIES and Corporations with billions in profits while PUTTING THE BOOTS to the MIDDLE CLASS. BTW CROOKS, WHERE ARE THE JOBS?

    March 17, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  3. Carlton

    If they pull funding for NPR they'll be fundraising for twelve months a year rather than the eleven they already do...

    March 17, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "It is time for us to remove the federal support system ... and see what NPR can do on (its) own."

    Translation: The conservatives want it dead if it's not going to be beholden to the corporate advertising revenue that is now the arbiter of truth, relevance and legitimacy at every single other "news" media outlet.

    Gee, I wonder why conservatives don't like the absence of that influence?

    March 17, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    And this is based on another Fox exclusive of two hours of tape edited to a few minutes. First the republicans declared war on the unemployed and we said nothing. Then it was Hispanics and we said nothing. Then women's rights, seniors, veterans, teachers, policemen, government workers, firemen, unions, and then they began to chip away at public broadcasting. Even a right wingnut who champions smaller government has to see the hypocrisy. The GOP battle plan appears to be modeled after Hitler and Stalin.

    March 17, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    Let's see. If congress voted to reduce their pay by 8% like they are asking poor and middle class workers to do. If they voted to pay for their own insurance and not take it with them when they leave. I will never support another republican as long as I live....well maybe my county sheriff, his deputy's love him on both sides of the isle.

    March 17, 2011 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  7. charles

    We all going to listen to popular doctorines of mr. rush l, that what they want. Bravo republicans. I wish you could stop funding formedicare, afaghnstan war, bush tax cuts, oil company subsidies...... . Love u

    March 17, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  8. SayWhat

    GOP stop playing politics. I can't wait for 2012 when you find out how much Ameiricans disagree with your petty nonsense.

    March 17, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |

    Won't pass in the Senate so whatev. GOP = American Taliban

    March 17, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. welches, oregon

    The lying dispicable GOP fear the Truth that NPR reports – that's what the entire issue is – keeping the truth from the public. Shameful shameful shameful – but that's Republicans in America for you. They don't care about truth, or helping ordinary people – only about helping the already wealthy and making sure corporations have their interests met. This is what is passing for America these days.

    March 17, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  11. confused

    Thats right the Democrats would rather cut Medicare or Social Security than funding for NPR (aka Liberal mouthpiece.)

    March 17, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  12. Ryan

    Republicans hate NPR because reality has a liberal bias.

    March 17, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  13. Voice of Reason

    Looks like the house is simply advertising who they are afraid of. And it turns out to be a spineless punk activist kid with a video camera and an agenda. Ironic that he's calling NPR biased...

    All i have to say to these GOP (spineless frightened rabbits) in congress is, You are now 100% OWNED by the tea party. Time to bow to your new masters.

    March 17, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    Bravo. Why not call this the " Juan Williams-cry me a river because I violated my job description with the people who plucked me from obscurity-Bill"? This is a piece of meaningless political theater from the people who promised us a " laser-like focus" on Jobs: where the hell are they?

    The GOP knows this will go nowhere, so why waste our time and money on this meaningless crap?

    March 17, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  15. A Real American

    "...a longtime target of conservatives irritated by what they consider the outlet's liberal bias...."

    Actually, NPR is quite balanced. The problem is one of perspective. The leadership of our country has tilted so far to the batsh!t crazy right over the last 30 years, that anyone left of Ted Nugent is considered a socialist by the right-wingers and their ignorant followers. What used to be called the center is now called the left. Ask a citizen of just about any other country on earth and they'll point out that there is no left-wing in America any more. Keep voting for corporatist schmucks and enjoy your stagnant wages and rising healthcare costs, suckers.

    March 17, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  16. Captain Awesome

    Sweet!!!! Why should the American taxpayer pay for a one sided liberal radio station anyway? If their programming is so good, then they should be able to stand on their own and maybe start making a profit (gasp!). Yes I said it libs. Maybe along with donations, the National People's Radio can start making money from advertising and compete in the markets like all other radio stations.

    March 17, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  17. KAD

    This is a free country with free speech and freedom to assemble, share information and ideas of all types. At least that is what it once was until the Republicans ruled. Now it is only Republican ideals or nothing. A radio station should not be penalized for the comments or opinions of its employees and neither should an organization such as Planned Parenthood, particularly when obtained in a covert – disguised operation like the Nazi SS might conduct. This is nothing more than trying to get rid of liberal institutions. The Republican agenda is simply get rid of everything – attack everything. They are creating a nation on attack against itself, its institutions and its own people. We once prided ourselves in our diversity. The nation was built on diversity. They attack liberals, moderates or anyone even remotely liberal, whether it be in media, our schools and universities, unions and labor, the middle class. Be white and Christian and by all means we must all have guns of whatever nature or kind. Around the world people are fighting and dying for democracy and civil rights and our country is taking away those rights. If this is how it will be then similarly, all funding to conservative organizations should also be withdrawn.

    March 17, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. Four and The Door

    a NPR fundraising executive ...saying public radio would be better off without federal money.
    And every Democrat in the House voted to keep funding these Bozo's?!?!? The Democrats just thumbed their noses up at every American taxpayer. This is Washington Federal Government at its worst.

    March 17, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. Emerson

    Go ahead and pull the funding. It cannot have any effect on the truth, and thatis what the Conservatives can't deal with that becasue they are on the wrong side of it most of the time.

    March 17, 2011 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  20. anagram_kid

    Why do they waste time on bills like this? I wonder how much tax payer money Republican house members spend in their attempt to look like they are saving tax dollars. I would really like to see a news organization research how much money is required for staffing, overhead and other expenses involved in getting a bill through the house. Something tells me those tea partiers might find out the more they spend the less they save.

    March 17, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. steve

    The world needs to wake up to change and recognize the abundance of news outlets qualified to provide every angle and opinion both right, left and in the middle to satisfy every persons values. When there were limited outlets for news, NPR made sense. Not anymore. Not with Public funds. Go Private NPR and join the NEW media way and survive on merit not hand outs.

    March 17, 2011 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. I Was Dumb Enough To Vote For Jimmy Carter

    I have a real problem with the concept of a "government funded news orginzation". Reminds me of Pravda and Tass from the old Soviet Union.
    If NPR is as wonderful as many people contend, then it will have no problem competing in the marketplace.

    March 17, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. once upon a horse

    @ Four and the Door....
    SPEAK FOR YOURSELF, BUB! I am an American taxpayer and I LIKE NPR and have no problem having my tax dollars help fund it. So when you want to talk about EVERY AMERICAN TAX should say all the right wing tax payers that don't support things like NPR or PBS. There are people in the nation that still can think for themselves, unlike many of you on the far right.

    March 17, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. ConservaFascists/F.U.B.A.R.

    Since the GOBP wants to go after NPR, why not go after Rush Limbaugh and his hate speech. You can't play both sides of the fence just because popular opinion doen not swing in your favor.

    March 17, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  25. Movado

    So the Repubs believe NPR is an outlet for Dems and Liberal Indies... NPR produces so much more than political agendas and opinions. As a listener to NPR, which produces the MacNeill/Lehrer Report, I find it that show (Radio as well as TV) to be neutral. Striking down NPR for bias promotion is unfair.

    If you look at the so called "regular news", these stations are ran, funded and managed by huge corporations that have shareholders ties, $$$ gained from bias news... (Disney, GE, Viacomm, Murdoch Mogul Enterprises).

    Shameful times we live in.

    March 17, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
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