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GOP Lawmakers Target NPR Funds

January 18, 2011 by  

GOP lawmakers target NPR funds
Republican lawmakers are making a push to cut Federal funding for National Public Radio (NPR), which would prevent local stations from using government money to purchase the network's programming.

According to media reports, Representative Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) first introduced the bill last June to defund NPR in an effort to reduce Federal spending and enhance competition on the airwaves. The legislation gained little steam in Congress until NPR made national headlines last October after firing Juan Williams, the commentator who made controversial comments on FOX News' The O'Reilly Factor.

House Democrats rejected the bill in December, but Lamborn put it back on the table last week, with hopes that a GOP-led chamber would push it through. The amount of money that NPR receives from the government is unknown, according to The Washington Examiner. Last November, NPR President Vivian Schiller claimed that about 2 percent of the network's budget is Federally funded, while Lamborn said it's a lot more than that, according to the news provider.

While NPR would likely survive without government support, Lamborn said that the new bill would prevent public radio stations from purchasing the network's programming with Federal funds.

NPR said that the congressman's mission, if successful, would violate the freedom of the press granted by the 1st Amendment.

"Congressman Lamborn's legislation is an intrusion into the programming decision-making of America's public radio stations," the network said in a statement, quoted by "His legislation will disrupt and weaken the free and universal public media system that serves 170 million Americans each month." 

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