House to consider NPR defunding bill today; vote expected at 10:15

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In what the New York Times is editorializing as “the latest example of House Republicans pursuing a longstanding ideological goal in the false name of fiscal prudence,” the House today (March 17) votes on H.R. 1076, sponsored by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), which would prohibit federal funds to be spent on NPR dues or programming.

According to today’s Majority Whip schedule, debate on the bill will begin at 9 a.m., with a vote expected at 10:15 a.m. C-SPAN has live coverage.

The bill would eliminate the Radio Program fund, which makes possible initiatives including Radio Bilingüe’s national program service and Native Voice One, the Native American radio service. Production grants to independent producers also would be affected.

The Station Resource Group told its members that it believes the bill, if passed, would “eviscerate public radio’s capacity to address program innovation, minority programming concerns, and program collaboration among station, producing, and distribution organizations.”

“The public radio system will be a significantly weaker service five years from now if H.R. 1076 were to become law — that that will have a negative impact of every public broadcasting organization.”