House Republicans will force a vote tomorrow on whether or not to cut funding for National Public Radio.
After the controversial firing of Juan Williams, conservatives issued calls to slash NPR's funding. Consequently, a proposal by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) received the most votes this week in the House Republicans' YouCut program, an online platform where users can vote on their favorite spending cuts, with a promise that House Republicans will force a vote.
Republicans have used their minority powers to ask the House to consider votes on spending cuts. That's what they'll do tomorrow, forcing the House to vote on whether to consider ending all taxpayer funding of NPR. (Technically, the House will not vote on actually ending such taxpayer funding, unless the first vote succeeds.)
Here's a description of Lamborn's proposal, issued, by Minority Whip Eric Cantor's office:
Description of this Week's Winning Cut
Terminate Taxpayer Funding of National Public Radio
Savings of Tens of Millions of Dollars (potentially in excess of a hundred million dollars)
National Public Radio's (NPR) recent decision to terminate commentator Juan Williams contract because of comments he expressed on another station have brought new found attention to NPR's receipt of taxpayer funds.
NPR receives taxpayer funding in two different ways. First, they receive direct government grants from various federal agencies, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Education, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Over the past two years this direct funding has totaled approximately $9 million. But NPR also receives taxpayer funds indirectly. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting makes grants to public radio stations. While some of these grants can be used for any purpose, some can only be used to acquire and produce programming. Often this programming is purchased from NPR. Indeed programming fees and dues paid by local public radio stations to NPR accounts for approximately 40% of NPR's budget or about $65 million last year. A portion of these funds were originally federal tax dollars provided to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to the local public radio stations.