Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, issued the following statement on Republican attempts to defund National Public Radio (NPR), legislation which is being debated in the House of Representatives today. The bill, H.R. 1076, would eliminate federal funding to NPR and prohibit local stations across the nation from using federal funds to purchase NPR-developed programming.
“Public television and radio stations are in virtually every corner of the United States and are valuable community partners, particularly in rural and underserved areas,” said Moran. “Most people like their local NPR station. I like mine. WAMU and WETA are great. But the funding restrictions put forward in this legislation strike at the heart of these great stations. It will cripple their ability to produce local programming.”
The United States has 900 public radio stations, providing more than 27 million Americans with free over-the-air programming each week. Particularly in rural areas, federal funding is critical for the survival of local stations, as it can comprise as much as 50% of their budgets.
“This legislation would prohibit public radio stations from using federal funds to acquire beloved programs such as This American Life, Prairie Home Companion, Morning Edition, Car Talk, All Things Considered, and many, many others,” Moran continued. “Eliminating funding for NPR would do little to rein in our national debt. It will not create jobs. Let’s stop picking on public radio, use our limited floor time to debate the real issues facing our nation.”