House vote supports public broadcasting
WASHINGTON – The House on Wednesday overwhelmingly rejected President Bush’s plan to eliminate the $420 million federal subsidy for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The 357-72 vote demonstrated the enduring political strength of public broadcasting. The outcome was never in doubt, unlike a fight two years ago when Republicans tried but failed to slash public broadcasting subsidies.
The move to kill the subsidies, which make up about 15 percent of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s budget, was launched by Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo.
Congress created the corporation in 1967 to shield public broadcasting from political influence. It distributes federal subsidies to PBS, National Public Radio and hundreds of public radio and television stations.
“It is providing a voice for America, a noncommercial, independent voice that is sadly lacking. It isn’t available anyplace else in the million channels on our cable networks,” said Rep Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.
The vote came as the House for a second day debated a huge spending bill funding job training, education and health programs. The underlying bill provides about $152 billion next year for programs whose budgets are set at lawmakers’ discretion each year.