GOP to force vote on NPR defunding

House Republicans announced Wednesday they plan to force a floor vote on defunding NPR in response to the firing of analyst Juan Williams last month. 

House GOP Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) and Rep. Doug Lamborn (Colo.) said that cutting funds to the publicly subsidized news organization was the winner of the conference’s weekly “YouCut” contest, in which the public votes online on spending items they want eliminated.

{mosads}”When NPR executives made the decision to unfairly terminate Juan Williams and to then disparage him afterwards, the bias of their organization was exposed,” the two Republicans said in a statement. “Make no mistake, it is not the role of government to tell news organizations how to operate. What is avoidable, however, is providing taxpayer funds to news organizations that promote a partisan point of view. Eliminating taxpayer funding for NPR is precisely the kind of commonsense cut that we have to begin making if we want to fundamentally alter the way business is conducted in Washington.”

Republicans had indicated that they sought to take action against NPR after it dismissed Williams for making controversial remarks about Muslims. 

Under the “YouCut” program, the GOP has promised to force votes on spending cuts chosen by online voters each week that the House is in session. Each week, a series of proposed spending cuts is posted online and the House GOP takes up the cut chosen by the most voters.

The NPR defunding defeated the termination of “Exchanges with Historic Whaling and Trading Partners Program” and the Presidential Election Fund.

Nearly every one of the items proposed in the Democratic-controlled House has failed to pass. Republicans take control of the House next year.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has said he will introduce legislation to defund NPR in the upper chamber.

NPR operates using both private and public money, though most of its revenue comes from non-public sources.

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