The House of Representatives has approved a bill to end Federal funding to National Public Radio (NPR).
Lawmakers voted 228-192 in favor of the legislation, which will now advance to the Senate. Although it is not expected to pass in the Democrat-led chamber, the bill is viewed as a symbolic strike against the nonprofit media organization which has been under fire in recent months.
In October 2010, NPR fired longtime news analyst Juan Williams after he admitted during an interview with FOX News' Bill O'Reilly that he gets nervous when he sees Muslims on a plane. The organization's CEO, Vivian Schiller, resigned recently following the leak of a controversial video showing former NPR fundraising executive Ron Schiller — no relation — blasting the Tea Party and questioning whether the group needs Federal funding.
According to BBC News, NPR received approximately $5 million in Federal aid during the 2010 fiscal year.
In other legislative action on St. Patrick's Day, the Senate approved a three-week spending extension that was previously passed by the House. The continuing resolution, which was expected to be signed by President Barack Obama, would give lawmakers until April 8 to agree on a budget for the remainder of FY 2011, which ends on Sept. 30.
Although the extension measure slashes $6 billion from current levels, conservative Republicans have called for bigger cuts in order to reduce a projected $1.65 trillion national deficit.
"We need to do more than just trim a little bit around the edges,'' said Representative Mike Lee (R.-Utah), quoted by The Wall Street Journal.