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Move to Cut NPR Funding Blocked by House Democrats

3 years ago
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An attempt by House Republicans to cut federal funding to National Public Radio was blocked Thursday by Democrats.

The defunding measure failed 239 to 171, with only three Democrats joining a united GOP faction, The New York Times reported.

The push was part of the Republicans' "YouCut" initiative, which lets voters pick what spending cuts they would like to see debated on the House floor.

Many Republicans called for an end to government funding of NPR after the network fired commentator Juan Williams last month over comments he made about Muslims.

After Thursday's vote, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who is set to become majority leader, referenced the Williams incident, The Huffington Post reported.

"To be clear, it is not the government's job to tell a news organization how to do its job," Cantor said. "But what's equally certain is it should not be the taxpayers' responsibility to fund news organizations with a partisan point of view."

NPR officials released a statement praising Thursday's vote, saying "good judgment prevailed."

"In an increasingly fractious media environment, public radio's value in fostering an informed society has never been more critical," the statement said. "Our growing audience shows that we are meeting that need. It is imperative for federal funding to continue to ensure that this essential tool of democracy remains available to all Americans and thrives well into the future."

According to an earlier New York Times story:

"NPR gets no direct money from the federal government for its $161.8 million annual budget. It does receive some dedicated grants from Corporation for Public Broadcasting for projects like covering the country's economic crisis; in fiscal years 2009 and 2010 combined, those grants totaled just over $5.2 million. NPR also gets occasional grants from from sources financed by the federal government. In all, NPR said those grants accounted for 1 to 2 percent of its income on average."
Filed Under: House, Media, Congress

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