Report: Trump’s Proposed Budget Nixes Federal Funding for NPR, PBS

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. Trump urged a more just and peaceful world, praised the military and U.S. advances in fighting Islamic State and reiterates support for oppressed people in Iran and North Korea. Photographer: Mike Theiler/Pool …
Mike Theiler/Pool via Bloomberg/Getty

President Donald Trump’s 2019 budget includes a proposal that would eliminate federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), according to a report.

The Hill reported that Trump’s budget would cut funding for CPB — which funds public television and radio stations such as PBS and NPR — over two years.

“To conduct an orderly transition away from Federal funding, the Budget requests $15.5 million in 2019 and $15 million in 2020, which would include funding for personnel costs of $16.2 million, rental costs of $8.9 million; and other costs totaling $5.4 million,” according to the proposal.

“CPB grants represent a small share of the total funding for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR), which primarily rely on private donations to fund their operations,” the proposal continued.

CPB received $445 million in federal funding, according to the most recent data available from the organization. Those federal funds made up 15 percent of PBS funding and ten percent of funding for NPR radio broadcasting.

Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of CPB, released a statement Monday decrying Trump’s plan to defund CPB.

“Since there is no viable substitute for federal funding that would ensure this valued service continues, the elimination of federal funding to CPB would at first devastate, and then ultimately destroy public media’s ability to provide early childhood content, life-saving emergency alerts, and public affairs programs, Harrison said.”

“We will continue to raise awareness in Congress and the Administration about the valued content and services local public television and radio stations provide to their communities and the vital role federal funding plays in supporting them,” she added.

Paula Kerger, PBS’s president and CEO, also released a statement Monday saying that the organization “would continue to remind” lawmakers of public television’s value to taxpayers.

“Public broadcasting has earned bipartisan Congressional support over the years thanks to the value we provide to taxpayers,” Kerger said. “PBS, our 350 member stations and our legions of local supporters will continue to remind leaders in Washington of the significant benefits the public receives in return for federal funding, a modest investment of about $1.35 per citizen per year.”

When Trump proposed his 2018 budget last year, his goal was to eliminate discretionary spending for arts, public television, and public radio programs.


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