A congressional letter expressing support for CPB’s fiscal 2018 appropriation drew signatures from 17 House Republicans.
The letter, delivered to the chair and ranking member of the House Appropriations subcommittee that handles CPB’s funding request, contains signatures from 166 members of Congress, a 25 percent increase from a similar letter circulated last year.
Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) co-sponsored the letter and led the push to gather signatures.
The letter said that federal investments in CPB, the interconnection system and the preschool education program Ready to Learn “are critical to public media’s mission to provide unique services in the areas of education, public safety, and civic leadership to all Americans.”
It also discussed the public media’s role in civic leadership. “Our public broadcasting system is a unique American institution that provides civic leadership, strengthens our local communities, and enables our constituents to have free, locally produced and focused programming as well as in-depth reporting,” it said.
The letter expresses bipartisan political support for CPB at a critical time. President Trump’s initial budget proposes to eliminate funding for CPB as well as the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities, both of which provide support for public media projects. Trump’s final budget is expected in May.
Republican signatories include two members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has authorizing jurisdiction over CPB: Michigan’s Fred Upton and Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania.
Other Republican supporters: Reps. Michael Bost and Rodney Davis, Ill.; Lou Barletta and Glenn Thompson, Pa.; Dan Donovan, John Katko, Elise Stefanik and John Faso, N.Y.; John Duncan, Tenn.; Will Hurd, Texas; Leonard Lance, N.J.; Stephanie Murphy, Fla.; Bruce Poliquin, Maine; and Don Young, Alaska.