CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Thursday, March 17, 2011, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 1076 under a rule that provides one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. The rule also makes in order one motion to recommit.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) on March 15, 2011, and referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce who took no official action.
The legislation would prohibit direct federal funds from being made available to National Public Radio (NPR), and would prohibit public radio stations from using federal funds to pay their NPR dues. The bill would also prohibit public radio stations from using federal funds for the production or acquisition of programming.
The bill would allow stations to continue receiving federal grants for the production of their own programming.
A similar proposal de-funding the Corporation for Public Broadcasting was a part of H.R. 1, approved by the House on February 19, 2011.
In fiscal year 2010, NPR received over $5 million in direct federal funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Department of Education, Department of Commerce, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Current Corporation for Public Broadcasting Guidelines allow public radio stations to use their federal grant funding for the payment of their dues to NRP. In fiscal year 2010, over 400 member stations paid a total of $2.8 million in dues to NPR.
Current federal law requires that approximately 26 percent of federal grants to public radio stations be used for the production or acquisition of programming, including programming for national distribution. Many stations use these “restricted” grants to purchase programming from NPR. Programming fees are the largest source of revenue for NPR ($56 million in FY10).
Last week, a video surfaced showing NPR Foundation president, Ron Schiller, stating that NPR would be better off without federal funding. In the wake of the video, NPR’s CEO Vivian Schiller, no relation to NPR Foundation’s president, resigned from her post.
As of press time, the Congressional Budget Office has not produced an official score of H.R. 1076.