May 24, 2017 by Paul Dughi
The draft budget, if approved, would cut the $445 million dollars the Corporation for Public Broadcasting currently earmarked as part of the omnibus bill approved for fiscal year 2019. Instead, it would allocate just $30 million dollars.
The $30 million would be to conduct “an orderly closeout of federal funding,” per the draft budget. In other words, enough money to wrap things up and shut down the government funding of programs.
Just 15% of public broadcasting’s funding comes from government sources, according to the draft.
“This private fundraising has proven durable…negating the need for continued federal subsidies.” – Trump Administration Draft Budget Bill
As you can imagine, public broadcasting supporters were not happy.
It’s not the first time it’s been proposed. Republicans tried to cut government subsidies in 1995, 2005, and 2011 without success. It’s not likely this time out either.
As Current points out, Republicans hold 52 seats in the Senate. Defunding legislation would need one of two things:
- 8 Democrat votes to reach a supermajority and avoid a filibuster
- Passage in the budget reconciliation process, requiring only 51 votes – but this has never been used t cut discretionary funding before.
It’s not certain all Republican would fall in line with the vote either. Several have gone on record supporting public broadcasting. VP Mike Pence, President of the Senate, restored funding from the state of Indiana when he took office as Governor.