Today, Rep. Earl Blumenauer was joined by Reps. Ed Markey, Betty McCollum, Nita Lowey, Sam Farr, Paul Tonko and Bill Owens, as well as popular PBS children's character Arthur, in announcing efforts to oppose House Republican attempts to cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in the Continuing Resolution. The efforts include an amendment to the Continuing Resolution to restore funding. Over 170 million Americans use public media every month. That is an extraordinary reach for a modest federal investment that supports 21,000 jobs in hundreds of communities, large and small.
"Public broadcasting informs, educates, and entertains millions of Americans every day at a cost that is far exceeded by the benefits provided and local dollars leveraged," said Rep. Earl Blumenauer. "Not only do our local public broadcasting stations provide us with valuable information, but they also directly support 21,000 jobs in hundreds of communities across America. It would be shameful to deny these communities their voice and their jobs because of political games here in Washington. Rather than having a serious conversation about reducing our budget deficits, some in Congress are using this opportunity to act on their long-standing grudge against public broadcasting. The simple fact is that these attacks on public media are a dangerous political gimmick that achieves no meaningful deficit reduction."
"Public broadcasting is an electronic oasis in what has been called the vast wasteland of commercial television," said Rep. Ed Markey. "That is why I am joining with other House Democrats to offer an amendment to fight the Republican's misguided elimination of funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). CPB doesn't just stand for Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It also stands for: Children and Parents Benefit. We cannot allow Republicans to lavish hundreds of millions of dollars a year in tax breaks on Big Oil while leaving Arthur and his pals in the lurch. I will fight to protect one of our most precious landmarks on the entire media landscape."
"An estimated 170 million Americans utilize public broadcasting everyday -- including my family and me -- because it provides unbiased, valuable information," said Rep. Betty McCollum. "Tea Party Republicans want to completely wipe out this critical resource and weaken our communities. I will fight to protect federal funding for it because I know Minnesotans care deeply for public broadcasting."
"Instead of focusing on political attacks against public broadcasting, the Republican leadership should get to work on the issues that are important to the American people -- creating jobs and getting our economy back on track," said Rep. Nita Lowey. "Bert & Ernie, Big Bird, Clifford, and other mainstays of public broadcasting have helped educate millions of American children. It is unacceptable that one of Republicans' first acts in the majority is handing them a pink slip."
"Generations of Americans have been enriched through public broadcasting programming," said Rep. Sam Farr. "Just like parents and grandparents across the country, my daughter and granddaughter have grown up with educational programming like Sesame Street. Public radio has been a constant stream of information and source of morning conversation, from coffee houses to the halls of Congress. It is irresponsible for Republicans to now place a price tag on public broadcasting, without clearly having an idea of its real value. "
"These proposed cuts for Public Broadcasting threaten to silence stations all over the country that provide alternative, community-based programming and a strong, independent journalistic voice," said Rep. Paul Tonko. "In addition, these cuts threaten jobs -- 1,400 in New York State alone, along with $100 million dollars that is returned to our local communities. We can't afford this kind of reckless decision making, and I will stand with my colleagues and my local communities to fight these extreme and irresponsible measures."
"Public broadcasting is extraordinarily important to many of my constituents," said Rep. Bill Owens. "It represents the best in family values and quality programming that you're going to see. If our colleagues on the other side of the aisle are concerned about the development of morals, integrity and education, then public education is a place they should support, not kill."