Lamborn Bill to Defund NPR Wins Nationwide YouCut Vote11/17/10
The American people have voted through the popular website, YouCut, to place Congressman Doug Lamborn’s (CO-05) bill to pull the plug on taxpayer funding for National Public Radio (NPR) on the House floor for a vote. The vote could come later this week.
“I have long believed that NPR is fully capable of standing on its own. NPR’s recent firing of longtime news analyst Juan Williams was a wake-up call for many Americans to political correctness and liberal bias at NPR. However, it is not so much the liberal bias that offends me, but the fact that our tax dollars are funding it.
“With the national debt over $13 trillion, Congress must prioritize its spending to only our nation’s most pressing needs. We simply cannot continue to fund non-essential services.
“The voters have asked Congress to reduce our spending. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do just that.”– Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05)
Lamborn's billwould prohibit federal dollars from going to NPR, through any of the various federal grants NPR now accesses. This is a more narrowly focused bill than H.R. 5538 that Lamborn introduced in June. H.R. 5538 would eliminate federal funding for NPR’s parent organization, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Lamborn’s new bill would effectively eliminate NPR’s ability to access any federal tax dollars (NPR requested $136 million for FY 2013) and apply it toward reducing the national debt (currently at $13.8 trillion).
NPR receives taxpayer funding in two different ways. First, they receive direct government grants from various federal agencies, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Education, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Over the past two years this direct funding has totaled approximately $9 million. Second, NPR also receives taxpayer funds indirectly through federal grants to local public radio stations. In 2010 those stations received a total of $65 million.
NPR claims that less than 2 percent of its total annual budget comes from the federal government. But when the indirect revenues NPR receives in licensing fees from the federally-funded local stations are included, that number jumps to an estimated 20 percent.
Flow of Federal Tax Dollars to National Public Radio:
NPR receives a significant amount of funding from private individuals and organizations through donations and sponsorships. For example in 2008, NPR listed over 32 separate private donors and sponsors who provided financial support in excess of half-a-million dollars that year. NPR officials have indicated that taxpayer funding makes up only a small portion of their overall budget. Therefore eliminating taxpayer support should not materially affect NPR’s ability to operate. It will, however, save taxpayers millions of dollars each year.
# # #