Cantor: Because of NPR Video, We'll Cut Funding That We Cut Already

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 8 2011 6:01 PM

Cantor: Because of NPR Video, We'll Cut Funding That We Cut Already

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor sends over a statement on the Veritas/NPR video. It dodges the culture war stuff about Tea Parties and concentrates explicitly on Ron Schiller's statement that NPR can endure without federal funding.

As we continue to identify ways to cut spending and save valuable resources, this disturbing video makes clear that taxpayer dollars should no longer be appropriated to NPR. Not only have top public broadcasting executives finally admitted that they do not need taxpayer dollars to survive, it is also clear that without federal funds, public broadcasting stations self-admittedly would become eligible for more private dollars on top of the multi-million dollar donations these organizations already receive.

At a time when our government borrows 40 cents of every dollar that it spends, we must find ways to cut spending and live within our means. This video clearly highlights the fact that public broadcasting doesn’t need taxpayer funding to thrive, and I hope that admission will lead to a bipartisan consensus to end these unnecessary federal subsidies.

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What does this mean, effectively? The House has already zeroed out funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in the continuing resolution; the debate over funding will happen in the Senate. Another debate over funding will happen when Republicans introduce their budget.

So is this some situation where Republicans are using a video sting to confirm what they were planning to do anyway? Not quite. It was six short years ago that the Bush administration z eroed out CPB funding in its budget . The Republican-run house voted to restore it; 87 members of the GOP voted with all Democrats. There was no clean amendment for restoring NPR funding in the CR, but Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., introduced an amendment that would have restored funding while ending a tax break for oil and gas wells. Only 51 Republicans voted for it, which would have been enough to pass except that 54 Democrats voted "no."

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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