As the House prepares for debate today on the budget, Republicans are trying to cut off public funding for NPR and the Public Broadcasting Service, which run such iconic programs as “Sesame Street” and “Morning Edition.”
The House Republicans’ budget would rescind any funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting — which partially supports these two organizations — for the remainder of the year, and zero out millions in funds after that.
This is not the first attempt by Congress to cut funding for what many Republicans see as liberal-leaning broadcast operations.
House Republicans made a proposal in November to strip federal funding for NPR after the radio station fired controversial commentator Juan Williams for comments he made about Muslims.
That bill didn’t pass, but this time, Republicans are in the majority in the House, and many say the cuts are needed to balance the burgeoning U.S. deficit.
“I think they are dead serious. There’s a real concern about budget among lots of people and they’re looking for ways to cut,” said Christopher Sterling, a professor of media and public affairs and public policy at George Washington University.
Also this week Republican Congressman Tom Price (GA) introduced an amendment to completely defund the union-controlled NLRB through the end of FY 2011.
UPDATE: A coalition of conservative groups and Republican lawmakers led by freshman Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy is trying to defund what’s left of the Obama-Pelosi stimulus bill.