House Passes Lamborn Bill to Defund National Public RadioMarch 17 2011
“This vote sends a strong message that Congress is serious about cutting spending. With trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see, under Barack Obama, we must begin to cut all unnecessary spending. When the federal government gets its spending under control, the small businesses and entrepreneurs of our country will begin investing again with confidence. That, ultimately, will lead to the creation of private sector jobs Americans are looking for.
“In an era of 500-channel cable TV and live streaming video over the Internet, there is no need for taxpayer subsidized media.
“I am a strong believer in the free markets. I believe that if NPR reworks its business model and begins to compete for its income, just as other stations do, it will not only survive, but thrive in the future.”– Doug Lamborn (CO-05)
H.R. 1076 accomplishes the following three items:
Prohibits public radio stations from using federal funds to purchase programming
- Current federal law requires that approximately 26% of federal grants to public radio stations be used for the production or acquisition of programming, including programming for national distribution. Many stations use these “restricted” grants to purchase programming from NPR. Programming fees are the largest single source of NPR revenue, at $56 million in FY10.
Prohibits stations from using federal funds to pay NPR dues
- Current Corporation for Public Broadcasting Guidelines allow public radio stations to use their federal grant funding for the payment of dues to NPR. In FY10, over 400 member stations paid a total of $2.8 million in dues to NPR.
Prohibits direct federal funding of National Public Radio
- NPR received over $5 million in direct funding in FY10 from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Department of Education, Department of Commerce, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Note:This bill does not prohibit public radio stations from using non-federal funds for the payment of NPR dues and the acquisition of programming. Stations may also use their federal grants for the production of their own programming.
Last year, Congress voted on a YouCut measure to cut federal funding for NPR and each Republican voted in favor.
H.R. 1076 would allow the local affiliate stations to use federal funds for administrative expenses associated with their day-to-day operations.
Ongoing efforts to eliminate federal subsidies for public broadcasting through the annual appropriations process: On March 15, 2011, the House passed a three-week Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through April 9, 2011. That bill contains $50 million in cuts for NPR’s parent organization, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). H.R. 1, the CR passed by the House last month, rescinded all federal funding for CPB through the end of this fiscal year. The Senate rejected that funding bill and has yet to offer an alternative.
Congressman Lamborn will continue to push for the elimination of taxpayer dollars for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting through the annual appropriations process.
Background:Congressman Lamborn has led the effort in the House to eliminate all federal funding for CPB. He has introduced legislation in both the 111th and 112th Congresses.
Link to H.R. 1076: http://rules.house.gov/Media/file/PDF_112_1/Floor_Text/CBO_066_xml.pdf