CPB says Trump budget will aim to rescind FY2018 appropriation

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Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky

A budget blueprint from the White House, the first of the Trump administration, looks to eliminate funding for CPB.

President Trump’s first proposed budget will seek to eliminate CPB funding by rescinding the corporation’s $445 million fiscal 2018 appropriation and zeroing out its forward-funded 2020 outlay, according to CPB.

Meanwhile, public broadcasters are confident that Congress won’t agree with Trump’s agenda and that Americans will help them fight.

The president’s “skinny budget,” released Thursday, also seeks to kill the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, two staunch supporters of public media content. It does not contain specifics about when CPB’s funding would end, but CPB provided details to Current Thursday.

CPB’s appropriations are forward-funded by two years to allow public broadcasters to leverage the federal dollars and to protect content from political interference. So public media’s advocates must now work on two fronts to preserve federal funding: They have to protect the appropriations already enacted and try to secure funds for FY19 and FY20. Congress could also rescind money from fiscal 2017, according to CPB.

The draft is a blueprint for a full budget expected to be released in greater detail later this spring. Congress and the White House must complete a budget deal for FY17, which ends Sept. 30, and agree on a spending plan for FY18. The FY17 budget includes recommended level funding of $445 million for CPB in FY19. Trump’s blueprint does not address the fate of this recommendation.

The president’s proposal for FY18 signals the White House’s intention to zero out CPB funding within the budget year that begins Oct. 1, on a faster timeline than the traditional forward-funding process.

“They clearly intend to eliminate CPB funding,” said Pat Butler, president of America’s Public Television Stations, referring to the administration. “We’re just as clearly intent on not allowing that to happen. We’re hoping we come out on top.”

Butler is optimistic that funding for public broadcasting will survive as it has in past budget battles. “I don’t think this budget will get very far,” he said. “I don’t think Congress will follow the president’s lead with respect to his spending priorities.”

Longtime public broadcasting supporter Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) agreed. “Odds are that CPB’s defunding is not acceptable to Congress,” he said.

“Even some of the people who are critical of public broadcasting in Washington start their day by listening to Morning Edition and watch PBS NewsHour each night,” Blumenauer added. “They know that it’s the best source for news. They rely on it. So I think we’ll get past this challenge.”

Also contained in the pending FY17 budget are $25.7 million from the Department of Education for public TV’s Ready To Learn preschool reading initiative, and support for public broadcasting’s upcoming interconnection system. The House version of the budget provides $10 million for interconnection; the Senate, $50 million. Trump’s budget proposal does not mention either program.

Nine Network in St. Louis said that CPB “provides grants for programs that address key needs in communities across the country” such as American Graduate. The station leads that nationwide effort, which aims to improve graduation rates. “These initiatives would be threatened by any final decision to defund CPB,” it said.

The Center for Asian American Media, one of public TV’s National Minority Consortia, gets about 40 percent of its funding from CPB along with “significant support” from NEA and NEH, said Stephen Gong, its executive director.

Gong pointed to The Chinese Exclusion Act, a CAAM documentary headed for American Experience that was backed by CPB and NEH. A nationwide engagement campaign will reach schools and community groups in dozens of cities.

“This is precisely the kind of educational program that public broadcasting does best and it is at risk once again,” Gong said.

But Blumenauer thinks public support will overcome that risk. “I’ve been in this business a long time now,” he said. “I’ve never experienced the degree of activism that I’m watching now around the country. I suspect public broadcasting funding is one of the things that will harness and focus that activism.”

Jerry Franklin, president of Connecticut Public Broadcasting, agreed. “We will join with a national grassroots effort to fight this action and have no doubt that we have the necessary support in both the communities we serve as well as the halls of power to prevail,” he said in a statement. CPTV and WNPR would lose $1.9 million from its $21 million annual budget if CPB were defunded, he said.

27 thoughts on “CPB says Trump budget will aim to rescind FY2018 appropriation

  1. Current describes itself as “editorially independent” and a member of the SPJ. Yet this article on defunding, and the article before, and the article prior, and the article prior, etc. 100% of the quotes are against the administration’s stance. 100%. You would think truly “editorially independent” journalism would report fairly on the issue of defunding and presents some quotes from those favoring the otherside. Is there not another side and shouldn’t their views be heard?

    I guess you can be “editorially independent” and still slant the news.

    • Current is editorially independent in that our reporting is not influenced by our funders or American University. We are, however, very clearly the trade industry publication serving public media. That’s why our slogan is “News for People in Public Media.” That means news for people who work in and around public media: the 25,000 talented producers, editors, reporters, fundraisers, digital creators, executives, engineers, administrators and more who work at hundreds of local TV and radio stations as well as PBS & NPR. And yes, Current wants public media to thrive because it is an irreplaceable (yet imperfect) force for good in the United States, a great investment in informing, educating and unifying viewers and listeners in the U.S. Without public media, there is no noncommercial children’s TV, no in-depth, high quality radio news, and no Current. There’s a reason why these things cannot survive in a competitive marketplace that dumbs everything down, glorifies violence, and tries to sell you something at the same time. Current does hold the public media system accountable to its mission and for its funding. We have published provocative voices of dissent around federal and state appropriations in the past. This is the beginning of a long arc of coverage of the federal funding battle. So, stay tuned, or feel free to seek out the voices you crave elsewhere.

      • We get it. Public media is “irreplaceable”, a “force for good”, “high quality”, etc., and people who oppose federal and state appropriations for public media are “provocative voices.” Who do they provoke? Liberals who love public media institutions like NPR, institutions that promote a left-wing worldview on a daily basis.

        Btw, why should taxpayers help fund the voices YOU crave?

    • No, there is no other side. “Both sides” is a convenient fiction that responsible journalists are finally realizing makes for terrible journalism.

      There has never once been a coherent argument based on facts presented for defunding CPB. Every single argument has always been traced back to one of two things:

      1. “We need to defund CPB before the Republicans do it.” said by squishy liberals.

      2. “We need to defund CPB because I don’t like it and it makes it harder for my ultra-rich friends to get away with their crimes.” said by conservatives.

      Even the astounding breach of ethics and protocol committed by Howard Husock in WaPo today doesn’t actually make any case for defunding CPB. It boils down to “we have to defund CPB before the Republicans do it for us.”

    • Paul, in at least the case of this article and yesterday’s story about Trump’s budget, our aim was not to present a broad exploration of whether public media should be federally funded, but simply to report news of the budget-related developments. The side of the Trump administration has already made its case by proposing no funding. No one in the administration has made other public statements about their views (at least none that were provided to us or that we were invited to hear). Our efforts during the presidential campaign to find out about Trump’s views on funding of public broadcasting went unanswered. Likewise, our requests to the OMB for more details about the funding plans for CPB did not get a reply (yet?).

      If funding of CPB comes up for debate in Congress and opponents of funding argue their point of view, we’ll certainly be quoting them as well as those arguing against them.

    • The truth of the meat ax ignorance and harm of the Trump/Republican budget has no positive redeeming qualities to report. Reporting the truth is not slanted or bias. But then again this is the Trump era, facts don’t matter, truth is only opinion, and both can be countered with “alternate facts” (lies). Next time Republican’s hear bias ABC, CBS, or NBC warning of an impending category 5 hurricane approaching just consider it FAKE news.

  2. Why even bother to have a budget if there can never be any discussion of prioritizing spending? Is there anything more permanent than a government program.

    • Your post is proof that democrats are hyperventilating and over reacting. Remember that a president only gets to propose a budget to congress. It is the legislature the appropriates all the funding of government.

      • Do I believe there are still enough grown up sane Republican’s to help Democrats mitigate this Trump/Republican budget of the inane ? Hopefully.

      • A better question is when was the last time a Republican President just balanced the budget? Or better yet, when was the last time a Republican collapsed our economy throwing millions out of work and their homes?

        • My point is that President’s only get to propose a budget. Reagan proposed a budget to cut spending and every year congress (run by democrats) ignored his budget proposal. Harry Reid refused to follow regular order and decided to pass massive omnibus bills. At least McConnell is trying to follow the rules established by law.

          The news media shouldn’t really rile up the public over this or that proposal and should be better at pointing out how the process works. Presidents can only do so much.

          • I assume you must have gone to Trump University to study American History and Economics. Republican’s controlled the Senate the first 6 years of Reagan. Democrats gained control the last 2 but without a filibuster majority, so any budget Reagan didn’t like he could have vetoed. But that’s not just where you exhibited Trump fantasy history, check below Democrat’s barely increased Reagan’s budget requests. Nope Reagan’s massive “World Record Deficits” were his own, the trickle down didn’t trickle, and the tax breaks for the rich did not pay for themselves, Typical Republican economic failure and nonsense.

            Please explain: http://zfacts.com/p/57.html

          • Not like you at Trump University, the budget needs approval of both the House and oh that’s right the Senate. Controlled the 1st 6 years by the Republican’s and in the last 2 years Democrat’s didn’t have a filibuster proof majority. You originally said Democrat’s greatly increased Reagan’s budget requests, as the graphed clearly shows, THEY DID NOT. Reagan biggest debtor in U S History increased the deficit 186%, abjectly failed Republican trickle down economics.

          • “the budget needs approval of both the House…”

            Funny how you didn’t mention that in your original comment. Again, who controlled the House during Reagan’s term?

            “abjectly failed Republican trickle down economics”

            – Under Reagan spending fell from 22.9 percent of GDP to 22.1 percent in 1989.
            – Government receipts had almost doubled, rising from $517 billion in 1980 to $1.031 trillion in 1990.
            – Reagan’s net job growth over eight years was 16.1 million.
            – The Reagan years brought annual real GDP growth of 3.5 percent — 4.9 percent after the recession.
            – GDP jumped from 6.5 trillion at the end of 1980 to 8.61 trillion at the end of 1988.
            – Real median household income shot up ten percent in the Reagan years.

        • Sit down, putz, I’m going to post facts and I don’t want you to fall on your head…again (facts make democrats dizzy, which is why they never post any):

          9/17/13 huffingtonpost.com “No wonder so few Americans seem to think their economy is in recovery: They keep getting poorer. Unless they are rich, in which case they keep getting richer. Median household income fell for the fifth straight year in 2012, the Census Bureau reported on Tuesday, to $51,017. That was the lowest annual income, adjusted for inflation, since 1995.”

          In 2008 the national debt was 10 trillion. Today it’s 19 trillion.

          povertyusa.org In 2014, 47 million people lived in Poverty USA. That means the poverty rate for 2014 was 15%. The 2014 poverty rate was 2.3 percentage points higher than in 2007.

          8/11/14 The U. S. Conference of Mayors http://www.usmayors.org/pressr… “New York — Jobs gained during the economic recovery from the Great Recession [2008] pay an average 23% less than the jobs lost during the recession…”

          10/12/14 http://www.ft.com Financial Times: African-American wealth has fallen further under Barack Obama than under any president since the Depression. The median non-white family today has a net worth of just $18,100 – almost a fifth lower than it was when Mr Obama took office.

          8/21/13 newyorktimes.com The median household income today is 6.1 percent — or $3,400 — below its level in December 2007, when the economic slump began.

          9/4/14 wsj.com The top 3% of families saw their share of total income rise to 30.5% in 2013 from 27.7% in 2010, while the bottom 90% saw their share fall. The median net worth of American families tumbled during the recession years. While the situation has stabilized, families haven’t regained their lost ground, Thursday’s report revealed. Median net worth fell 2% in 2013 from 2010, while average net worth was basically flat.

          1/27/15 timesfreepress.com In 39 states, including most of the South, the majority of income gains after the Great Recession accrued to top 1 percent.

          10/5/15 nydailynews.com Bill Clinton: “You’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care, and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half and it’s the craziest thing in the world,” he said.

          8/11/16 marketwatch.com In 2014, a record 60.6 million people, or 19% of the U.S. population, lived in a multigenerational household, up from 42.4 million (17%) in 2009.

          8/23/16 breitbart.com The Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that 17 percent of service sector firms and 21 percent of manufacturers are reducing the number of workers they employ due to Obamacare.

          10/10/16 rasmussenreports.com The month Obama started his presidency 65% of Americans thought that we were on wrong track. Today 67% think we’re on the wrong track.

          10/14/16 bloomberg.com More Than 1 Million in “Obamacare to Lose Plans as Insurers Quit”

          10/21/16 dailycaller.com According to a February 13, 2016 email that appeared on WikiLeaks, then-vice chair Brazile wrote: “I think people are more in despair about how things are—yes new jobs but they are low wage jobs. HOUSING is a huge issue. Most people pay half of what they make to rent.“

          12/8/16 npr.org One of the fundamental ways scientists measure the well-being of a nation is tracking the rate at which its citizens die and how long they can be expected to live. So the news out of the federal government Thursday is disturbing: The overall U.S. death rate has increased for the first time in a decade, according to an analysis of the latest data. And that led to a drop in overall life expectancy for the first time since 1993, particularly among people younger than 65.

          2/9/16 Department of Agriculture (USDA): The number of food stamps recipients went up by 32% since Obama took office in 2009.

          1/6/17 cnsnews.com The final [Bureau of Labor] jobs report of the Obama presidency, released Friday, shows that the number of Americans not in the labor force has increased by 14,573,000 (18.09 percent) since January 2009, when Obama took office, continuing a long-term trend that began well before Obama was sworn in.

          https://beta.bls.gov/dataViewe… Bureau of Labor Statistics: the U.S. has lost 301,000 manufacturing jobs since 2009.

          This is Obama’s legacy:

          7/13/16 nytimes.com
          -In April 2009 65% of Whites thought race relations were generally good while 59% of Blacks thought likewise.
          -In July 2016 28% of Whites thought race relations were generally good while 25% of Blacks thought likewise.

          • 1. Eliminate the wealthy tax breaks, which started the middleclass slide, given by Reagan and GW Bush and now Trump now wants to do again. As budget balancing Clinton did and apply the revenue to Republican debt reduction. The wealthy got the breaks, the middle class got to pay for the debts they created.
            2.Poverty rate up since 2007, wonder why? Oh, could it be the last Republican administration after being handed a balanced budget by Clinton collapsed the economy, threw 12M out of work, millions out of their homes, the auto, financial, housing sectors collapsed, 100’s of thousands of small businesses failed. Do you think those facts and the biggest Republican economic dislocation since their great Depression might create some poverty, lower household income, depress wages, depress home and asset value?
            3. Who handed out all these tax breaks to the wealth? Oh, that’s right Republican’s and their disproven and failed “trickle on you” tax cuts that did not pay for themselves but did create massive debt for the rest of us to pay.
            4. People thought we were on the wrong track in 2008, wonder why? Oh the Republican Great Recession maybe? Obama was handed Bush’s annual budget $1.4 T in deficit the 1st year, because Republican’s had collapsed the economy and people and business were not working tax revenue fell 17% or $419B a year, but government assistance to help idle people and businesses rose $18%. And the Republican answer and contribution to our recovery, :”just say no”. In spite of that Obama created 15.5M jobs, the auto, housing, and financial sectors back on their feet, Dow from 6,500 up to over 20,000, deficit reduced 70%, the official unemployment # used for EVERY administration since the ’40’s DOWN to 4.7% from Republican about 10% losing 800,000 jobs a month, and national record of consecutive job creating month’s over 81 months straifgt.
            5. Reagan increased the debt 186%
            GW Bush increase 101%
            B. Obama increase 68% Mostly to get the U S back on it’s feet after the Republican Great Recession. But in that time we did have ONE President that balanced the budget, Bill Clinton.
            Republican abject economic failure vs Democrat success.

          • You do realize, don’t you, that everything you said is mere personal opinion, of little value?

            My opinions, on the other hand, are supported by facts, lots of them.

            It’s clear that facts mean little to you. You’re a snarky BS’r, nothing more…

            …and blocked.

  3. Wow. Somebody is in whack-a-comment mode at Current. Funny how some comments stand: demeaning Republicans as “hapless”, “naive”, “gullible”, and “ignorant” , and hurling ad hominem’s such as “you must have gone to Trump University…”, or “you exhibited Trump fantasy history”.

    But if you reply with facts, point out misleading statements, or mock a commenter’s ad hominems, your comment gets removed.

    • Fair point, I’ve deleted all of those as well. I’m dedicating my whacking to comments that don’t focus on public media. I’m happy for Current to host discussions about how public media should be funded, with all points of view welcome. But we are not interested in hosting broader discussions about politics, with no bearing on public media or even mention of public media. There are plenty of other forums for that.

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