The House is set to take up a measure that would eliminate federal funding for National Public Radio, which has been tarnished recently by bad publicity and resignations.
The bill by Rep. Doug Lamborn
(R-Colo.) was considered by the House Rules Committee Wednesday.
The Hill wesbsite
quoted House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-Va.) office as saying the GOP-controlled chamber would vote on the Lamborn bill on Thursday.
"This is an exciting and significant step forward in the ongoing effort to protect taxpayer dollars from supporting programs that are fully capable of standing on their own. Taxpayers should not be on the hook for something that is widely available in the private market," Lamborn said in a statement
"I wish only the best for NPR. Like many Americans, I enjoy much of their programming. I believe that they can survive, even thrive, in the free market without the crutch of government subsidies."
Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York, the top Democrat on the rules committee, criticized the effort to push the measure through Congress without hearings, USA Today reported.
"NPR plays a valuable role in providing millions of Americans with in-depth reporting and is often the only source of reliable news in rural parts of the country," she said. "It is under attack in the name of fiscal responsibility."
Lamborn said his bill would cut all federal money to NPR, but NPR affiliate stations could still use federal dollars for administrative expenses associated with day-to-day operations.
The latest move follows the release of a secretly taped video by a conservative activist purportedly showing former NPR fundraising executive Ron Schiller criticizing Republicans and tea party activists during a meeting with phony Muslim donors. However, analysts who examined the full version of the video
suggested the editing was misleading and left out important context for the controversial remarks.
Ron Schiller had already announced he was leaving NPR for another job when the video surfaced last week. His departure was accelerated. Then NPR's president and chief executive, Vivian Schiller (no relation), resigned abruptly.
Earlier, the House passed a massive budget-cutting bill that, among other things, would rescind all federal funding this year for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which helps support NPR. The Senate rejected that measure. On Tuesday, a stopgap spending bill passed by the House to keep the government operating for three more weeks contains $50 million in cuts to the CPB. It is now before the Senate.