House GOP sets up committee vote on defunding NPR

The House Rules Committee on Wednesday will consider a bill to defund NPR. 

The move could set up a floor vote on the issue and comes after a video sting led to the resignation of NPR's top executive. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who controls the House calendar, would have to decide to bring the measure to the floor. 

A number of House Republican leaders, including Cantor, have called for cuts to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the entity that funds NPR and the Public Broadcasting Service, after conservative activist James O'Keefe released video footage of an NPR fundraiser criticizing conservatives and claiming that the public radio conglomerate does not need federal funds to operate.

The incident led to that executive's resignation, and to the resignation of NPR CEO Vivian Schiller. 

Republicans say the episode demonstrated that NPR shows a left-wing bias and does not deserve federal funding, especially with the nation facing a $1.6 trillion budget deficit. The CPB received $420 million from the federal government last year.

Advocates for NPR have argued that it needs the funds, and that public television and radio stations across the country would be hurt if the GOP blocks funding.

The GOP has already tried to defund NPR, attaching language to their long-term continuing resolution that would have stripped money for CPB. That bill failed to clear the Senate.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has introduced legislation in the Senate, and Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) has done the same in the House. 

Even if the House were to pass a bill, the Democratic-controlled Senate could block it. President Obama has also defended federal funds for public broadcasting. 

Some liberal groups and news outlets have criticized the O'Keefe videos, saying they were selectively edited to make executive Ron Schiller's comments more inflammatory. Schiller is not related to Vivian Schiller.