The House has voted to end federal funding to National Public Radio, though the chances of it getting through the Senate are slim. Republican supporters say it makes good fiscal sense, but Democratic opponents call it an ideological attack that would deprive local stations of access to programs such as Car Talk and All Things Considered. The bill, which passed 228-192 along mostly partisan lines, would bar federal funding of NPR and prohibit local public stations from using federal money to pay NPR dues and buy its programs.
"It is time for American citizens to stop funding an organization that can stand on its own feet," said Colorado Republican Doug Lamborn. He said it was not a question of content—which many conservatives say has a liberal slant—but whether taxpayer dollars should go to nonessential services. "As a country we no longer have this luxury." Democrat Ed Markey countered that the bill would "snuff out stations from coast to coast, many in rural areas where the public radio station is the primary source of news and information." Click to read all about NPR's recent troubles. (Read more NPR stories.)