Pat Butler, president of the Association of Public Television Stations, expressed disappointment over the announcement today (Nov. 21) that the congressional deficit-reduction Super Committee could not reach agreement to avoid automatic budget cuts. All domestic discretionary spending, which includes the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, could now be subject to an 8 percent across-the-board cut effective Jan. 1, 2013, Butler said. For CPB, that equals about $35 million of its $445 million appropriation.
“The Super Committee’s assignment was never going to be easy — that’s why there was a Super Committee — but I know from direct conversations with some of the committee members that serious, good-faith efforts were made to reach the $1.2 trillion deficit reduction goal and more,” Butler said in an email to Current. “The outcome is disappointing, and the work Congress has to do before adjourning this year is challenging, but we remain hopeful that good decisions and good policy will be made in the weeks ahead — including a commitment to continue federal support for the good work public broadcasters are doing in education, public safety, job training and other essential services.”