Ahead of NPR vote, Dems rally against 'ironic' push for cuts

House Democrats rallied this week to maintain funding for public broadcasting ahead of a Wednesday House Rules Committee vote on a bill to defund NPR. 

"It’s ironic that while some people are maneuvering to defund public broadcasting that so many of those same people started their day listening to NPR," Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) said. Bob McGrath, a Sesame Street actor, said public broadcasting is a "necessity to our society." It's "not a frill," he said.

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NPR is consumed in controversy after a video appeared to show an executive criticizing conservatives and saying federal funding is unnecessary. 

At the same time, Republicans have pushed to defund public broadcasting this year as a way to rein in spending. They included this recommendation on a spending proposal that failed to pass the Senate.

Public broadcasting advocates came together Tuesday to issue a strong defense of federal funding.

Free Press managing director Craig Aaron described defunding NPR as an anti-jobs measure. “We’re here to say get the politics out of public broadcasting, stop meddling with our local stations, stop threatening local jobs, and stop hurting local communities," he said. 

President Obama and various Senate Democrats have expressed support for public broadcasting, so a defunding measure may ultimately face an uphill battle.