News
6:16 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

New proposal would eliminate federal funding for public broadcasting

Tomorrow, Wednesday, July 18, the powerful House Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee will meet to recommend funding for public broadcasting stations.  Draft recommendations were released earlier today proposing a phased elimination of all federal funding for America’s local public television and radio stations. We need your help TODAY! Yesterday, we asked advocates of 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting to call their Members of Congress who sit on this subcommittee. Today, we’re asking all advocates of 170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting to call every Member of Congress to ask for their help in keeping this legislation from becoming law. What would the bill do? • The bill phases-out federal funding for Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), including:

  • Rescinding roughly 25% (or $111 million) for FY 2013 and 50% (or $222 million) for FY 2014 for public radio and television stations. 
  • Ending the special two-year advance funding process for public broadcasting that has served for more than four decades as a “firewall” from political interference in programming.

• The bill prohibits stations from using any federal funding to pay dues, acquire programming such as Morning Edition and Car Talk or otherwise support NPR. 
• The bill provides no funding for Ready to Learn, a public television service that builds the reading skills of children between the ages of 2-8, especially those from low-income families. What you can do? • Tomorrow (Wednesday, July 18) at 10 a.m. EDT, the House LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee will meet to finalize this disastrous legislation. Please call your Representative TODAY!  Click this link to get your Rep. contact info.   http://www.house.gov/representatives/ Here are talking points you can use when leaving a message with Rep. Scott Tipton’s staff: • I am very disappointed to learn of the cuts proposed to local public broadcasting stations in the recently released House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations Draft bill. • The bill phases-out federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), including rescissions of roughly 25% (or $111 million) for FY 2013 and 50% (or $222 million) for FY 2014 for public radio and television stations.  • The House Subcommittee also seeks to terminate the special two-year advance funding process for public broadcasting that has served for more than four decades as a “firewall” from political interference in programming. • These cuts would drastically affect the services my local stations provides in our community. • This proposal flies in the face of the will of the American people, who routinely rank public broadcasting as one of the best investments the federal government makes and who overwhelmingly support our work and our public service mission, across the ideological spectrum. • Public broadcasting funding has already been cut by 13 percent over the past two fiscal years. • But the House Labor-H proposal to eliminate public broadcasting funding entirely would mean the end of public broadcasting in America, as reports from the Government Accountability Office found in 2007 and as the Labor-H Subcommittee requested report last year concluded. • This would be particularly devastating to many rural public broadcasting stations, which are often the only local media outlets in their communities. These cuts would force many such stations to close.  • Placing restrictions on how locally controlled stations program for their audiences substitutes congressional decision-making for local control.  NPR programs are key to helping stations increasing local audiences and raising  private sector funds from listeners and businesses in their communities. Loss of audience will mean the loss of local funds, which translates into less locally news, information and cultural programming.  • We are grateful that the Senate Appropriations Committee has already recommended level funding of $445 million for public broadcasting and that the President has made the same recommendation in his current budget proposal. • We hope the final FY 2013 appropriations bill recognizes the tremendous value public broadcasting provides our community, and as such, provides public broadcasting with continued federal funding to help carry out this invaluable mission. Please let your Representative know how important public broadcasting and its programs in the Labor-HHS bill are to you and your local community.
 
Thank you for your continued support and for speaking up on behalf of public broadcasting!
 
Stacey Karp and Lisa Radzak
170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting

170 Million Americans for Public Broadcasting is a collaboration of public radio and television stations, national organizations, producers and our viewers and listeners throughout the country in favor of a strong public media in the United States. This project receives no government funding.

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