In Depth

Bush Draws Usual Criticism for Proposed Cuts to CPB Budget

President Bush, unveiling his fiscal year 2009 budget, is again proposing to cut the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s funding.

The budget would cut $200 million of the $400 million already appropriated by Congress for the new fiscal year and another $220 million of the money Congress has appropriated for 2010.

The president has proposed the cuts before—every year since he became president—and Congress just as regularly ignores the recommendation.

However, advocates of public broadcasting, including CPB officials, criticized the proposal.

“While we are acutely aware of the difficult budgetary choices facing the federal government, the cuts proposed in the budget for public broadcasting are draconian,” said CPB President-CEO Patricia Harrison. “Implementation of these severe cuts would impact millions of Americans who utilize public broadcasting on so many levels, beginning with educational programming and services. Further, it would work to degrade a 40-year partnership the American people overwhelmingly support and their elected representatives in Congress have repeatedly voted to strengthen.”

John Lawson, president-CEO of the Association of Public Television Stations, also was critical.

“This is the eighth year in a row that this president has tried to gut public broadcasting and this will be the eighth year in a row that we will have to persuade Congress to ignore his cuts,” he said. “This is some legacy the president is leaving for noncommercial media.”