House GOP tries to strip NPR of federal funding
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Old grudges die hard.
Once again, Republican members of Congress have their eyes firmly fixed on defunding National Public Radio (NPR).
The House Appropriations Committee has unveiled its latest budget proposal and among other things, it includes a provision to prohibit funds from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) from tricking down to NPR.
It also requests a report from the CPB on how to wean NPR off of federal funds by fiscal year 2014.
The budget proposal, which also includes cuts to education grants, job training and heating subsidies, will likely face fierce opposition from Democrats and negotiations could drag on for months.
NPR has long been the bete noire of the right, which views it as a left-leaning mouthpiece. Their longstanding efforts to strip the radio broadcaster of public support gained steam following NPR's decision to fire commentator Juan Williams over remarks he made about Muslims.
Even more damaging was a video sting by a conservative activist that captured NPR executives calling the Tea Party racist and criticizing Republicans.
Last May, the Republican-controlled Congress passed a bill stripping NPR of federal funding, but it stalled in the Senate, where Democrats retain control.
The CPB is on track to receive $445 million in federal funding over the upcoming year, a small portion of which will be directed to NPR.
NPR receives about 2 percent of its annual budget in the form of grants from the CPB. In addition, it receives about 36 percent of its annual revenue from station fees and membership dues for news and information, cultural and entertainment programing.
Support from the CPB accounts on average for 15 percent of funding for the more than 1,100 public radio and television stations around the country.