LAS CRUCES, NM (krwg) – House Republicans proposed eliminating public broadcasting funding entirely last week as part of an effort to cut $100 billion in federal spending from the president’s 2011 fiscal year budget.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting or CPB provides funding for PBS and NPR stations across the country.
Congressional Democrats are vowing to fight the public broadcasting cuts as they did with previous budget battles.
[Senator Jeff] Bingaman-“I think unfortunately this is an issue that has more of an ideological bent to it than it does a fiscal conservatism bent to it. I think some particularly here in the congress on the republican side feel the CPB is too liberal in its programming and doesn’t adequately reflect the more conservative right wing views that they favor and accordingly it has always been a target for them in spending proposals.”
Republican Representative Hal Rogers, who is chairman of the Appropriations Committee, said in a statement he believes these reductions are necessary to show that congress is serious about returning the nation to a sustainable financial path.
However, President Obama’s budget proposal released Monday keeps a $451 million dollar appropriation in place for the CPB until 2014 which would be a $6 million increase over its 2012 appropriations.
The former congressman and senator said on Fox News Monday he tried to cut federal funding for the CPB when he was in office but faced a powerful backlash from supporters of the legendary kids shows.
“When I came to Congress, I was one of the guys that said we got to cut the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It wasn’t necessary anymore,” he said. “Well the ‘Barney’ contingent came out and the ‘Sesame Street’ contingent came out and these are programs that are popular among families and so they hit you pretty hard.”
The comments come a week after House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Kentucky, proposed a budget blueprint that eliminates all funding to the CPB, which helps subsidize NPR and PBS affiliates. Last year, CPB received more than $400 million from the federal government.