CPB is set to receive its full requested appropriation in the spending bill nearing passage in Congress, which will fund the government through next September. The 1,603-page bill, already passed by the House of Representatives, includes the full $445 million appropriation for CPB in fiscal year 2017. CPB traditionally receives its appropriation two years in advance to help facilitate production pipelines. Ready to Learn will also receive its requested funding of $25.7 million if the bill passes as written. No critics of public media have surfaced to call for zeroing out CPB funding, said Patrick Butler, president of the Association of Public Television Stations and public TV’s chief lobbyist on the Hill.
Though its chances of advancing in Congress are considered slim, the proposed budget put forth this week by House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan would zero out funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Ryan said in the budget document released Tuesday that federal subsidies for CPB and the National Endowment for the Humanities could “no longer be justified.”
“The activities and content funded by these agencies go beyond the core mission of the federal government,” the document reads. “These agencies can raise funds from private-sector patrons, which will also free them from any risk of political interference.”
The proposed budget does not stipulate whether the zeroed-out funding would apply to the already appropriated two-year funding cycle, or whether it would be implemented after the forward-funded cycle. Patrick Butler, president of the Association of Public Television Stations, said the proposal was expected. Ryan’s staffers told Butler a few weeks ago that the proposed budget would include zeroed-out funding.