NPR thanks Obama for budget 'vote of confidence' 

As some Republicans on Capitol Hill try to cut, or even eliminate, its government funding, National Public Radio has sent a public thank-you to the Obama administration for proposing an increase in taxpayer funding for public radio.

"Public broadcasting received a vote of confidence today from the Obama Administration," NPR said in a statement Monday.  "The President's FY 2012 budget submission to Congress included $451 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) for the two year advance appropriation for FY 2014, an increase of $6 million over FY 2013 funding."

Vivian Schiller, the head of NPR -- and focus of much controversy over the firing last year of commentator Juan Williams -- released a statement saying she is "grateful to the Obama Administration for recognizing the importance of public radio to the life of communities across the nation."

"At a time when our country is confronting many difficult challenges," Schiller said, "public broadcasting is providing an essential service by informing and educating 170 million Americans every month.  This mission is more relevant than ever."

It is difficult to determine how much of its budget NPR receives from the federal government.  Schiller has said in the past that the figure is "less than two percent annually, on average" of NPR's total budget.  (The organization's most recent budget was $166 million.)  House Republicans believe the government's part of NPR's budget is much bigger, but how much bigger is not clear.  NPR receives money not just from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; it also receives government dollars from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Departments of Education and Commerce.  In addition, Corporation for Public Broadcasting money that goes directly to public radio stations is cycled back to NPR when it is used to purchase NPR programming.

In any event, if the portion of the Obama budget dealing with public broadcasting is passed, NPR will receive more, not less money from the taxpayers.

About The Author

Byron York


Byron York is the Examiner’s chief political correspondent. His column appears Tuesdays and Fridays. He blogs throughout the week at Beltway Confidential.

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