House approves $535M for FY26 CPB appropriation

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The U.S. House of Representatives approved $535 million in level funding Friday to CPB for fiscal year 2026. CPB’s appropriation is forward-funded by two years.

The House’s passage of the funding comes at the nail-biting deadline to fully fund all federal agencies or face a government shutdown. It may also prompt a sigh of relief in public media. Last July, a House subcommittee proposed zeroing out public media funding in 2026. The Senate recommended level funding  later that month.

CPB’s base appropriation for fiscal year 2025 is $535 million. With the FY26 amount closer to passage in the Senate and President Biden’s signature, the path is clear for public media advocates to focus on the proposal for fiscal 2027 funding. Biden’s proposed budget recommended $595 million for FY27.

Also in the House’s FY24 omnibus appropriations package is level funding of $60 million for public media’s interconnection system and $31 million for the Ready To Learn grant program through the U.S. Department of Education.

The package also includes $40 million in FY24 for the Next Generation Warning System, which is funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to upgrade stations’ public safety infrastructure. The funding was first approved in FY22 at $40 million and increased to $56 million in FY23. The Senate had recommended $53 million for FY24.

“America’s Public Television Stations are grateful for this bipartisan congressional support of a continuing public investment in our work and for the Congress’s recognition of the critical role our local stations play in their communities,” said APTS CEO Pat Butler in a news release. “Working under the challenging constraints of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, Congress has made clear its enduring endorsement of our public service missions of education, public safety and civic leadership.”

Butler also said he was pleased by the continuation of the FEMA program, “although this appropriation represents a $16 million reduction from current funding.”

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