Republican Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn today reintroduced legislation to kill federal funding for NPR. Its language is identical to his bill that passed the House in 2011, which prohibited stations from using CPB funds to acquire programming or pay NPR dues. That bill never made it to the floor of the Senate.
“At a time when millions of federal works are being furloughed, schoolchildren are barred from visiting the White House, and many military training flights are grounded to save money, it is unacceptable that taxpayers are still on the hook for millions of dollars each year to subsidize National Public Radio,” he said in a statement. “Additionally, it was highly inappropriate for NPR to move into a lavish new headquarters building partly paid for by taxpayers, many of whom continue to struggle under the worst economy since the Great Depression.”
To finance the new headquarters, NPR used $35.2 million from the sale of its old headquarters at 635 Massachusetts Ave. in Washington, D.C., and $165.8 million in tax-exempt bonds, issued with assistance from the D.C. government.
Lamborn contends that federal funding of CPB is no longer relevant. “In a world of 500-channel cable TV, streaming radio over the Internet and cellphone Internet access,” he said, “government-funded broadcasting is completely unnecessary.”