Rep. Yvette D. Clarke’s Statement on the House Voting to Defund NPR
Today, with a vote of 228 to 182, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1076, a bill to stop federal funding for National Public Radio (NPR). Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke submitted the following statement to the record expressing her opposition to this piece of legislation:
“I rise today to strongly oppose H.R. 1076, the bill to stop federal funding for National Public Radio (NPR). The bill bars making federal funds available for: NPR; payments of dues to NPR; and the acquisition of any radio programming by or for the use of a public radio station.
“Earlier this week the Republican led House passed a three week CR that contained $50 million in cuts for NPR’s parent organization, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The new House majority is looking to cut all federal funding of public radio and television stations.
“Mr. Speaker, without federal funding, many public radio and TV stations, especially in rural and small communities would go off air. Prohibiting local stations from using federal funds to acquire or produce local / national programming will interfere with the operating independence fundamental to the American’s public radio system.
“Barring public radio stations from using federal funds to acquire public radio programming would be a huge disruption to the economic model used by public radio stations to serve audiences and to develop local programming, including local/regional news.
If this measure were to pass, New York Public Radio’s own station WNYC’s national morning news program, The Takeaway, with an audience of younger and more diverse listeners, will be in serious jeopardy. New York Public Radio produces more than 150 original hours of programming each week, including a broad range of daily news, talk and cultural and classical music programming. New York Public Radio has two million weekly listeners in NYC metropolitan region and 3 million listeners across the country.
“After 11 weeks with no jobs legislation, the Republican Majority is bringing up this bill that does not create jobs or reduce the deficit. I urge my colleagues to reject this legislation.”