“While I like much of NPR’s programming, the fact is, it is luxury we cannot afford to subsidize. This effort to cut government spending should be part of the larger push from this new Republican Congress to cut spending and get our nation’s fiscal house in order,” Lamborn said in a statement.
Lamborn called federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting "unnecessary" and noted funding has risen 26 percent over the past decade to $430 million per year. He introduced the same bills during the last Congress, where they failed to gain any traction.
"Government-funded broadcasting is now completely unnecessary in a world of 500-channel cable TV and cell phone internet access," Lombard added, also citing claims from NPR officials that taxpayer funding only makes up a small portion of their overall budget.
But with Republicans in charge of the House, the odds of their passage has increased significantly, particularly after the controversy surrounding Williams' firing and the subsequent resignation of senior vice president for news Ellen Weiss.
Free Press Action Fund managing director Craig Aaron denounced the bills in a statement issued on Friday that urged public broadcasters to push back against the legislation.
"Local PBS and NPR stations reach more than 98 percent of American households, and for some communities, they are the only sources of serious local news and information. They also employ thousands of journalists — at a time when newsrooms around the country are shedding tens of thousands of jobs a year," Aaron said.
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