DOYLE OPPOSES CUTS IN FUNDING FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING

June 24, 2005
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (PA-14)announced today that he opposes the deep cuts in public broadcasting that the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives has proposed, and that he was pleased by the House vote yesterday to restore some of that money.

“Yesterday’s vote was a victory for public broadcasting and all of the American families that depend on it for news and educational programming,” Congressman Doyle said today. “I am pleased that my colleagues in the House joined me in voting overwhelmingly to restore $100 to public broadcasting. My only regret is that the bill approved by the House still underfunds public broadcasting by $82 million.”

The vote came during House consideration of H.R. 3010, a bill to fund the operations of the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and Education next year. This legislation was funded at more than a billion dollars lower than the current spending level in order to pay for more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Congressman Doyle voted against the bill when it was approved by the full House and forwarded to the Senate for that body’s consideration.

Earlier this month, the House Appropriations Committee voted to eliminate within two years all federal money for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting starting with a 25 percent reduction in CPB's budget for next year (from $400 million to $300 million). Yesterday the full House voted to reverse the Committee funding cut.

“These funding levels would hurt thousands of families in Allegheny County,”Congressman Doyle said today. “The bill as passed by the House contained cuts in important programs like the No Child Left Behind education act, job training grants, LIHEAP, the Centers for Disease Control, the global fight against HIV/AIDS, in addition to public broadcasting. That’s why I voted against it. I will continue to work through the remainder of the appropriations process to fully fund these important programs.”

Congressman Doyle’s Floor statement on Public Broadcasting follows below:

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the Obey-Lowey-Leach Amendment would to restore a $100 million cut to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The $100 million that the amendment seeks to restore amounts to a 25% cut in the funding that goes directly to local Public Radio and Television stations in the form of Community Service Grants.

“For more than 35 years, public broadcasting has produced a distinguished series of historical documentaries, cultural programs, public affairs shows, and other excellent programming. It has reflected the essence of our country, showing America to Americans.

“WQED Multimedia in my district in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has been a leader in public broadcasting for decades. Today, when so much of commercial TV is dominated by sex, violence and celebrity scandals, PBS is often the only place to go for truly excellent programming. For example, WQED brought Mister Roger’s Neighborhood into our living rooms and enriched the lives of millions of children. This type of quality programming could be lost if we withdraw our support for public broadcasting. In fact, WQED stands to lose nearly 45 percent of its federal funding if the Obey-Lowey-Leach amendment is not accepted.

“Americans overwhelmingly recognize the value of this programming. 82 percent consider federal funding for PBS “money well spent.” In fact, Americans consistently rate funding for Public Broadcasting second only to military spending as a worthwhile use of their tax dollars.

“Mr. Speaker, we must protect funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting from these draconian budget cuts. The American people support public broadcasting and we should too.”