House Set To Vote Today On NPR Funding

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NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The measure would allow member stations to buy NPR programming, but not with federal funds.

With the House of Representatives expected to vote today on a bill that would prevent NPR from receiving federal funds of any kind, NPR's Audie Cornish filed this report for our Newscast:

"Two percent of NPR's revenue comes through competitive grants from federal agencies — in the commerce and education departments, for example.

"But [NPR] member station fees make up another 40 percent of revenue. And the House Bill would bar stations from using any federal funds for NPR.

"Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn [says that the bill would allow stations] to 'purchase programming from NPR or other sources just not with federal taxpayer dollars.'

"Republicans on the House Rules Committee said the move to defund the organization this week was sparked by the controversial and edited videos of NPR executives speaking disparagingly of conservatives, and saying NPR did not need federal funding."

For a "point/counterpoint" debate on whether NPR should get federal money, see this back-and-forth from ABC News commentator George Will (who argues against funding) and NPR's Cokie Roberts (who argues for it).

The Christian Science Monitor writes that "with Democrats controlling the Senate, there's little chance that such a ban on NPR funding will ever get a Senate floor vote, let alone pass. But even without a vote, the issue gives both parties a platform for rallying the base." Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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