- The Washington Times
Thursday, March 16, 2017

It didn’t take long for the CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to lash out at President Donald Trump’s first budget.

PBS CEO Paula Kerger released a statement on Thursday blasting Mr. Trump’s federal budget proposal, which would end all taxpayer funding for the television program distributor. The National Endowment for the Arts is also on the chopping block, in addition to cuts at the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency.


“PBS and our nearly 350 member stations, along with our viewers, continue to remind Congress of our strong support among Republican and Democratic voters, in rural and urban areas across every region of the country,” Ms. Kerger said. “We have always had support from both parties in Congress, and will again make clear what the public receives in return for federal funding for public broadcasting. The cost of public broadcasting is small, only $1.35 per citizen per year, and the benefits are tangible: increasing school readiness for kids 2-8, support for teachers and homeschoolers, lifelong learning, public safety communications and civil discourse.”

Political jockeying with Congress over a supplemental budget for fiscal year 2017 and the 2018 fiscal year budget may change PBS’s fate.

“The president wants to spend more money on defense, more money securing the border, more money enforcing the laws, and more money on school choice, without adding to the deficit,” White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told reporters on Wednesday. “If [lawmakers] have a different way to accomplish that, we are more than interested in talking to them.”

PBS’s statement also referenced a report by Rasmussen that claims 21 percent of Americans — and 32 percent of Republicans — support the elimination of the broadcaster’s funding.

Mr. Trump’s budget seeks $30 billion for the Department of Defense for the 2018 fiscal year starting on Oct. 1, along with a $1.5 billion down payment this year for the a border wall with Mexico.


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