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The House Appropriations Committee approved a bill last night that cuts pubcasting’s total 2006 funding by more than 40 percent. It would reduce CPB funding from $400 million to $300 million, eliminate the $23 million Ready to Learn program and deny requests for $39 million in digital transition funding and $50 million to replace the aging pubTV satellite system. But the committee approved a Democratic amendment that restores the traditional congressional practice of funding CPB two years in advance, earmarking $400 million for 2008. Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) told Reuters he will try to add funding for pubcasting when the bill comes to the House floor. The full House is expected to take up the bill next week, according to the Los Angeles Times. Public broadcasting executives told the New York Times that the controversy over CPB has damaged pubcasting’s standing on Capitol Hill. The Senate, which has a long record of being more generous to public broadcasting than the House, could work for better numbers when the two houses meet later this summer to craft a final version of the bill.

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