NPR Funding Bill Passed in House

Mar 21, 2011, 09:27 by David Hope

NPR will no longer receive any federal funds. The U.S. House, on a 228-192 vote, approved a measure that would defund National Public Radio.

Seven Republicans broke with House leadership and voted against the measure while one Republican representative voted "present," Fox News reported.

The proposal, sponsored by Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., would ban any federal money from going to NPR, including funding through competitive federal grants and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The bill also would bar NPR's member stations from using federal funds to buy programming from NPR and to pay station dues. Member stations could use federal funds for administrative costs only.

NPR's fundraising head, Ron Schiller, resigned March 8 after a video was posted online of him making disparaging remarks about Republicans and Tea Party supporters to people posing as members of a fictitious Muslim philanthropy group.

NPR Chief Executive Officer Vivian Schiller, no relation to Ron Schiller, subsequently resigned under pressure from NPR's board.

Democrats argued the bill wouldn't lower the deficit and charged Republicans were cutting NPR funding because they disagree with its content.

Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York, the ranking Democrat on the Rules Committee, called the bill a "purely ideological bill so members can go home and brag about what they have done to NPR" when they head to their home districts this week for a weeklong recess, The Washington Post reported.

Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier, R-Calif., said he enjoyed some of NPR's programming but "half the American people have never even heard of, much less even listened to, NPR."

PBS released a poll March 1 it commissioned from Hart Research and American Viewpoint indicating a 69 percent-27 percent opposition to proposals that would kill government funding of public broadcasting, Fox News said. Results indicated 83 percent of Democrats, 69 percent of independents, and 56 percent of Republicans said they don't want public broadcasting defunded.