Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn (Colo.) has introduced a bill to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which includes National Public Radio (NPR) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).
"The national debt is over $22 trillion. The federal government cannot continue unconstitutional spending to subsidize media programs that are majority privately funded," the congressman said in a press release.
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Lamborn claims that NPR and PBS have "shown increasing bias in sensitive political and social issues." He cites the recent PBS episode of the children's show Arthur, which featured a same-sex wedding. Alabama Public Television and the Arkansas Educational Television Network both refused to air the episode.
"The Constitution does not grant the federal government the authority to subsidize media programming. Not only is this funding unconstitutional and wasteful, but it has also violated the conscience rights of many conservative and religious Americans," Lamborn said, "American taxpayers subsidized the CPB, the parent organization to PBS and NPR, to the tune of $445 million annually for the last two fiscal years."
Last month NPR issued a guideline reminder for talent when discussing abortion, stating, "The term ‘unborn' implies that there is a baby inside a pregnant woman, not a fetus. Babies are not babies until they are born. They're fetuses. Incorrectly calling a fetus a ‘baby' or ‘the unborn' is part of the strategy used by antiabortion groups to shift language/legality/public opinion."
President Donald Trump has included defunding the CPB in his budget proposal every year of his presidency. "CPB funding comprises about 15 percent of the total amount spent on public broadcasting, with the remainder coming from non-Federal sources, with many large stations raising an even greater share. This private fundraising has proven durable, negating the need for continued Federal subsidies," the president's 2020 proposal read.