SLP98111104 - 12 NOVEMBER 1998 - CLAYTON, MISSOURI, USA: Media icon Jim Lehrer, Executive Editor and Anchor of the PBS television show The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, talks about his new book Purple Dots, to a crowd at Library, Ltd, in Clayton, Missouri, during a book signing, November 11. iw/bg/Bill Greenblatt UPI | License Photo
WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., introduced legislation that would end funding for public radio, saying it was a luxury the federal government can't afford.
Lamborn said federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting was "unnecessary," noting funding rose 26 percent during the past decade to $430 million per year, The Hill reported Friday.
He introduced two bills that would defund the CPB Thursday -- just as he did last year.
"While I like much of NPR's programming, the fact is, it is luxury we cannot afford to subsidize," Lamborn said in a statement. "This effort to cut government spending should be part of the larger push from this new Republican Congress to cut spending and get our nation's fiscal house in order."
When criticizing the bills Friday, Free Press Action Fund Managing Director Craig Aaron urged public broadcasters to push back against the legislation, The Hill said.
"You don't put a bully in his place by handing over your lunch money and hoping he'll go away," Aaron said. "You have to fight. And when you do, millions and millions of your viewers, listeners and fans will have your back."
He said the Public Broadcast Service and National Public Radio stations reach more than 98 percent of American households, are sometimes "the only sources of serious local news and information." They employ thousands of journalists "at a time when newsrooms around the country are shedding tens of thousands of jobs a year."