Markey: GOP proposal to defund public broadcasting bending to 'extremist Tea Party'

Rep. Edward MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOvernight Defense: Families sue over safety hazards at Army base | Lawmakers, NBA's Enes Kanter speak out ahead of Erdoğan visit | Washington braces for public impeachment hearings NBA's Enes Kanter speaks out against Erdoğan ahead of White House visit Democrats unifying against Joe Kennedy Senate bid MORE (D-Mass.) slammed a budget proposal from House Republicans as an effort to appease "its extremist Tea Party caucus," pointing to such spending cuts as the defunding of public radio and TV stations.

House Republicans have proposed to cut funding to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which oversees money allocated to outlets such as NPR and PBS.  

A longtime proponent of federal-funded media, Markey said the proposal "consists of an extreme and arbitrary package of cuts that would slash federal support for public safety, health care and research, public broadcasting, food safety and inspection, and other critical functions of government upon which the public depends."

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Cutting public broadcasting dollars could take away a key educational resource, according to Markey.

"By putting the Corporation for Public Broadcasting...on the chopping block, Republicans are denying our youngest children and our neediest students the excellence of educational, cultural and informational resources and opportunities both in their homes and in classrooms throughout the nation," he said.

Whether the government should fund public media is an annual argument around budget time. Markey has long defended such spending. 

When the same debate arose in 2008, here's how Broadcasting & Cable describEd MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOvernight Defense: Families sue over safety hazards at Army base | Lawmakers, NBA's Enes Kanter speak out ahead of Erdoğan visit | Washington braces for public impeachment hearings NBA's Enes Kanter speaks out against Erdoğan ahead of White House visit Democrats unifying against Joe Kennedy Senate bid MORE's willingness to go to bat on the issue: "Looks like Congressman Ed Markey may have to suit up for battle again--perhaps in a Big Bird suit--against the forces that want to cut public broadcasting."

Markey said at the time: "In a 24-7 television world with content often inappropriate for young children, the public broadcasting system represents an oasis of quality, child-oriented educational programming. We owe America’s children and their parents this free, over-the-air resource."