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Trump proposes eliminating federal funding for PBS, NPR

The Hill logo The Hill 2/12/2018 Joe Concha
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Video by The Associated Press

President Trump's newly proposed budget includes a proposal to end federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, part of a package that includes $300 billion in new spending overall.

CPB provides federal funding for PBS and National Public Radio stations.

"The Budget proposes to eliminate Federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) over a two year period," according to the proposal.

"CPB grants represent a small share of the total funding for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR), which primarily rely on private donations to fund their operations," it continues.

"To conduct an orderly transition away from Federal funding, the Budget requests 15.5 million in 2019 and $15 million in 2020, which would include funding for personnel costs of $16.2 million, rental costs of $8.9 million; and other costs totaling $5.4 million."

In a statement in March 2017 after the first Trump budget proposed the elimination of CPB, the 50-year-old non-profit characterized itself as "one of America's best investments."

a man wearing a suit and tie © Provided by The Hill

"We will work with the new administration and Congress in raising awareness that elimination of federal funding to CPB begins the collapse of the public media system itself and the end of the essential national service," CPB President Patricia Harrison said.

"There is no viable substitute for federal funding that ensures Americans have universal access to public media's educational and informational programming and services," she added.

"The elimination of federal funding to CPB would initially devastate and ultimately destroy public media's role in early childhood education, public safety, connecting citizens to our history, and promoting civil discussions - all for Americans in both rural and urban communities."

PBS CEO Paula Kerger said at a TV critics meeting last July that a number of PBS stations across the country are dependent on federal funding in order to survive.

"PBS will not go away, but a number of our stations will," Kerger said on July 30. "There is no Plan B for that."

Trump's budget requires congressional approval before it can take effect. Public broadcasting has survived previous presidential threats to cut its funding.

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