House Proposes CPB Cuts In Latest CR

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The House Appropriations Committee has offered up another stop-gap continuing resolution (CR) spending bill, this time including cuts to public broadcasting among the $6 billion in cuts, though Republican leaders say they are public broadcasting cuts the President has already proposed himself.

Elsewhere on the noncom funding front, fans of CPB plan to present one million petitions defending the service.

According to the legislation, which would keep funding the government past the current March 18 expiration of the previous two-week continuing resolution, it would make cuts outside the basic appropriation for Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which the President has proposed maintaining and even increasing.

Like the current CR, the latest does not include blocking funding for the FCC's network neutrality rules, or for the salary of its chief diversity officer, or zeroing out all CPB funding, as did the six-month CR passed in the House several weeks ago but defeated by the Senate last week.

It would terminate the Fiscal Stabilization Fund, $50 million that would have helped make up for losses in public station viewer donations, which have been down in the down economy.

It also would also end funding of facilities projects that have been completed, said the Republicans. One, an interconnection project the committee points out was completed last year.

The other is $19 million for the government-mandated conversions of public TV stations to digital broadcasting "and other mandated conversion efforts [that] are now completed and the funds no longer necessary," said the committee.

The long-term goal of many Republicans is to cut or zero out CPB's principal funding entirely, which has drawn pushback from some Democrats and various public interest groups.

MoveOn.org, Free Press Action Fund, and others will hold a press conference on Capitol Hill Tuesday (March 15) to present what they say is a million petitions opposing the budget.

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