Senate Appropriations Committee recommends continued CPB funding in FY26 

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The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended Thursday to provide an advanced appropriation to CPB of $535 million for fiscal year 2026.

In a markup session, the committee reviewed proposed funding for the FY24 Defense, Interior and Environment, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Homeland Security Appropriations acts. Earlier this month a House subcommittee proposed zeroing out public media funding in 2026. 

The Senate’s recommendation is level with the funding President Biden authorized earlier this year for FY25. It falls short of the $575 million President Biden proposed in his budget in March.

The Senate’s proposal also includes level funding of $31 million for Ready to Learn and $60 million for interconnection and infrastructure for FY24. 

A separate bill for Homeland Security funding includes $53 million for the Next Generation Warning System, funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The program received $56 million in FY23 and $40 million in FY22.

In a statement, Patrick Butler, CEO of America’s Public Television Stations, said the Senate committee “made clear its enduring endorsement of our public service missions of education, public safety and civic leadership. The committee also made clear that fiscal responsibility need not mean a federal retreat from institutions which serve the American people in essential ways, as we do.”

Butler said APTS appreciated committee Chair Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Vice Chair Susan Collins (R-Maine) for “creating an environment in which bipartisan agreements can be reached with spirited but civil debate, constructive compromise, and a decent respect for differing points of view.”

“This is truly essential work, worthy of federal investment, and we’re grateful to Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee Chair Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Ranking Member Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV), and to Homeland Security Subcommittee Chair Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Ranking Member Katie Britt (R-AL), for their leadership in ensuring continued federal support for our missions of public service,” Butler added.

CPB President Pat Harrison said in a statement that she was “grateful for the strong bipartisan support” for level funding.

“As the appropriations process continues, we look forward to working with Congress on funding decisions to support a healthy and vibrant public media system on behalf of our nation’s civil society,” she added.

Update: This story has been updated to include the proposed funding for Ready To Learn.

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