Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) on Wednesday (Jan. 5) reintroduced two bills to defund public broadcasting. H.R. 68 would end all federal appropriations for CPB, while H.R. 69 would specifically deny federal money to NPR. Both would take place after fiscal year 2013.
“While I like much of NPR’s programming, the fact is, it is luxury we cannot afford to subsidize,” Lamborn said in a statement. “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.” Both bills have been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
NPR has become a conservative target since the firing of correspondent Juan Williams in October. He had admitted on Fox News that passengers in Muslim garb on airplanes made him nervous (Current, Nov. 1, 2010).
JAN. 7 UPDATE: The bills face a typical lengthy process: First committee hearings, then committee markup, next committee approval, then a vote in the full House. Then the Senate receives the bill for consideration. Lamborn may pursue other strategies for passage, his Communications Director Catherine Mortensen told Current. Lamborn could push to have the bills brought to the House floor as part of the ongoing YouCut program, a strategy that failed last November in a House with fewer Republicans. Or he could work to have the legislation inserted into a larger bill of spending cuts. “Congressman Lamborn will pursue an ‘all-of-the above’ approach to get his legislation passed,” Mortensen said. “Depending on which route the bill takes, it could be a matter of weeks or months before the bill gets a vote on the House floor.”