Denver Daily News: Lamborn again seeks PBS cut

January 7, 2011
In The News


Hopeful that new GOP-controlled House will back his legislation to cut PBS funding

Peter Marcus, DDN Staff Writer





Emboldened by the GOP’s new U.S. House majority, Congressman Doug Lamborn is again seeking to cut all public funding for public radio and television.

His previous attempts have failed, but Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, is hopeful that he can convince his conservative colleagues to cut the annual $430 million in funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

For Lamborn, the issue is about controlling the nation’s nearly $14 trillion debt.

His proposal calls for ending all federal funding after 2013 for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting N the parent company of the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio. A separate bill introduced by Lamborn takes aim directly at NPR, ending all federal funding after 2013.

"Congressional Republicans must show the American people that we are serious about cutting spending and reducing the size and scope of the federal government," Lamborn said in a statement. "We simply cannot afford to subsidize NPR, or any other organization that is not doing an essential government service. The government must learn to live within its means."

Critics, however, say eliminating the funding would damage a public broadcasting system that offers programming that is not provided by commercial media.

Colorado could lose about $5 million annually in funding for public broadcast programs if Lamborn’s measure makes its way through Congress and is signed by the president.

There are about a dozen public radio stations in Colorado and two public television operations in the state. Federal funding is crucial to assisting the stations with providing quality programming, say public broadcasting supporters.

"The evidence is very clear that public broadcasting is more necessary than ever, that the kind of programming that we offer is not adequately provided in the commercial media, and that the original reasons for creating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS, NPR and so on, still exists, and perhaps even more poignantly now," Wick Rowland, president and chief executive of Colorado Public Television, told the Denver Daily News in a recent interview.

But Lamborn says there is no longer a need for public broadcasting. He points out that the majority of Americans own a television or have access to the Internet.

"While I like much of NPR’s programming, the fact is, it is luxury we cannot afford to subsidize," said Lamborn. "This effort to cut government spending should be part of the larger push from this new Republican Congress to cut spending and get our nation’s fiscal house in order."