Congressman Lamborn Introduces Legislation to Defund Public Broadcasting

June 20, 2019
Press Release

Washington D.C.  - Today, Congressman Lamborn introduced legislation that would eliminate federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and National Public Radio (NPR).

The national debt is over $22 trillion. The federal government cannot continue unconstitutional spending to subsidize media programs that are majority privately funded.

The Trump Administration has made it clear that the federal government needs to wind-down federal funding for the CPB and NPR.  Rather than allow House Democrats under Nancy Pelosi to drag out this process in appropriations year-after-year, Congress should act decisively and pass legislation barring federal funding of media programming.
 
The Constitution does not grant the federal government the authority to subsidize media programming. Not only is this funding unconstitutional and wasteful, but it has also violated the conscience rights of many conservative and religious Americans.
 
The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and NPR have shown increasing bias in sensitive political and social issues. A recent example comes from PBS, who recently aired an episode of the children’s cartoon Arthur. In this episode, the creator endorsed same-sex marriage, which is offensive to many conservatives and religious taxpayers. The show was so controversial that the state of Alabama barred the episode from Alabama Public Television.

Congressman Lamborn released the following statement following his introduction of two bills to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio:

“Enough is enough. Recent programming on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has offended many conservative and religious taxpayers who do not want the children inculcated with liberal viewpoints on sensitive topics.  The Constitution does not grant the federal government the authority to subsidize any media conglomerate. Let’s bring an end to forcing Americans to subsidize media programming that is unconstitutional.”

What the two bills achieve:

1.    Prohibits Federal Funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

  • Endorsed by Reverend Franklin Graham, Family Research Council, Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, and Americans for Limited Government
  • American taxpayers subsidized the CPB, the parent organization to PBS and NPR, to the tune of $445 million annually for the last two fiscal years

2.    Prohibits direct federal funding of National Public Radio and Prohibits public radio stations from using federal funds to purchase programming from and/or pay dues to NPR 

  • Endorsed by Heritage Action, FreedomWorks, and Americans for Limited Government
  • 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
  • Current Corporation for Public Broadcasting Guidelines also allows public radio stations to use their federal grant funding for the payment of dues to NPR