House Republicans Propose Elimination of CPB Funding

Sep 21, 2005  •  Post A Comment

House Republicans on Wednesday proposed to eliminate federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as part of a major initiative to help the government pay for the mammoth recovery costs associated with Hurricane Katrina.

In a report, the GOP lawmakers said that zeroing out CPB would save $400 million in fiscal 2006 and more than $5.5 billion over the next ten years. The report was issued by the House Republican Study Committee, a group of more than 100 Republicans that is chaired by Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., and is devoted to advancing a “conservative social and economic agenda.”

In a statement, the study committee said the CPB cuts are part of what it is referring to as “Operation Offset,” which pinpoints “specific options to find savings in the budget so that the reconstruction costs aren’t passed on to our nation’s children and grandchildren in the form of an enormous debt burden.”

The dozens of cuts proposed in the report would save the federal government more than $1.2 trillion over 10 years, the group said. A spokesman said House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, and other House leaders had yet to discuss specific proposals for federal program cuts. CPB distributes federal funding to public radio and TV stations.

Michael Levy, a CPB spokesman, said in a statement: “If there ever was a time that reinforces the extraordinary value and need for public television and radio, it is now. Public broadcasting again demonstrated its worth many times over by serving as a lifeline to those struggling to survive Katrina and rebuild their lives in its aftermath.

“Locally owned, locally controlled public broadcasters know their communities. And the public knows that in good times or bad, it can depend on public broadcasting to serve the public interest, whether through high-quality educational programming or with life-saving information.”