House Appropriations Committee takes next step in zeroing out pubmedia funding for FY27

Print More

Wikimedia Commons

The House Appropriations Committee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies has recommended zeroing out public media funding in its fiscal year 2025 appropriations bill.

The proposed bill, made public Wednesday, seeks no funding for CPB effective FY2027. The corporation’s appropriation, currently $535 million, is forward-funded two years in advance.

The committee’s bill mirrors the proposal from a House subcommittee late last month. The new bill would cut public media’s interconnection and infrastructure budget of $60 million but does include $31 million for the Ready To Learn grant program led by the Department of Education.

The bill will advance to the full House for consideration.

“America’s Public Television Stations are deeply disappointed that the House Appropriations Committee has voted to discontinue federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public media stations’ interconnection system in the FY 2025 appropriations bill,” said APTS President Patrick Butler in a news release.

“While obscured by a vote to eliminate advance funding for public broadcasting — a policy proposed by President Ford in 1975 that has protected our programming from political influence for the past 50 years — the committee made its intention clear by also eliminating $60 million in interconnection funds that connect our stations with each other and with national programming services,” he said.

Butler called the proposal an “assault” on public media funding. He also noted that the same House subcommittee tried to eliminate public media funding last year, “despite the fact that the federal investment in public broadcasting is consistently identified by the American people as the best the government makes, after only national defense and food and drug safety.”

Butler, while adding that the federal appropriation for public media amounts to $1.60 per American, said public media has shown its value by assisting with the Wireless Alert System, providing educational programming to children and producing news and public affairs programs to areas that lack adequate resources.

“Notwithstanding today’s committee action, we remain hopeful that the strong bipartisan support for public media, both in Congress and among the American people, will ultimately result in full funding for CPB, interconnection and system infrastructure, and Ready To Learn as the appropriations process moves forward,” Butler said.

This year, the Biden administration proposed $595 million for CPB’s appropriation in FY27. Biden’s budget also includes level funding at $60 million for the interconnection system and infrastructure in FY25 and $31 million in level funding in FY25 for Ready To Learn.

Separately, the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee in June recommended $40 million in funding for the Next Generation Warning System for FY25. NGWS funding is separate from CPB’s annual forward-funded appropriation, so NGWS could still receive funding even if CPB’s support were cut.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *