The House of Representatives approved a measure today to bar federal funding of National Public Radio and to prohibit public radio stations from using federal grant money to pay dues to NPR.
The 228-192 vote was mostly along party lines. Republicans generally backed the proposal, while Democrats opposed it.
Last week, conservative activists secretly recorded an NPR executive making derogatory comments about Tea Party supporters, leading to a controversy that ended with the resignation of NPR CEO Vivian Schiller.
Republicans say taxpayers no longer want to spend money on the type of content NPR provides. "The problem is, we've seen NPR and its programming often veer far from what most Americans would like to see as far as the expenditure of their taxpayer dollars. That's the bottom line. Nobody is on a rampage. Nobody is trying to say that we don't like NPR for NPR's sake," House Majority Leader Eric Cantor argued.
Meanwhile, Democrats accuse Republicans of trying to control the airwaves. "Under the guise of saving taxpayer dollars, what they're doing is silencing NPR — not because it saves money, but because it is not on the same ideological frequency of the extreme right," said Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.).
In good news for public-radio fans, the legislation faces an uphill climb in the Senate, where the Democratic majority is likely to oppose it.
Read more at PBS.
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