Hours after the Trump administration confirmed its intention to phase out federal funding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting over the next two years, there was little argument that a war with CPB’s liberal allies in Congress would be inevitable in the coming battle over the budget.
“There will be a huge battle over this,” Rep. Todd Rokita (R.-Ind.) predicted to Newsmax, [“The administration’s] strategy seems to be to open as many fronts in the war for the soul of the country as possible. It’s needed.”
At a private briefing for White House reporters Wednesday morning, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said that President Trump’s soon-to-be-unveiled first budget would not completely end federal funding for the 49-year-old Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
But, Mulvaney quickly added, the budget for the coming fiscal year (FY 2018) would include “some amount of money necessary for the unwinding” of CPB and the goal in the next budget (Fiscal Year 2019) would be “ending federal involvement” in the Corporation altogether.
Since President Lyndon Johnson signed the law creating the quasi-government corporation in 1967, nearly $13 billion in tax dollars has been spent on it. The taxpayer-funding for CPB in the last budget was $445 million.
The Corporation has long been a target of conservatives in and out of Congress. Earlier this year, Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Col.) introduced two bills, H.R. 726 and H.R. 727, to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Public Radio (NPR).
“With the national debt nearing a staggering $20 trillion,” Lamborn said, “The government cannot continue to subsidize private organizations that are more than capable of being fully privately-funded.”