Mr. Speaker, let's be honest and talk about what this bill is about. This bill is about making sure that we are spending taxpayer dollars the way that the people that earn them would spend them. We saw, as the gentlelady from California indicated, on video executives at N.P.R. saying that they don't need taxpayer dollars. So that's number one. That’s out there. That was demonstrated for all of America to see. We are also in the process of making sure that Washington begins to do what every American family and small businessperson is having to do right now. It’s called tightening the belt. It’s called trying to learn how to do more with less, and inherently that means we have to start prioritizing the things that are important to the American people.
The problem is, we've seen N.P.R. and it’s programming often veer far from what most Americans would like to see as far as the expenditure of their taxpayer dollars. That’s the bottom line. Nobody’s on a rampage. Nobody is trying to say that we don't like N.P.R. for N.P.R.'s sake. We’ve seen how they spend their money. It’s time to prioritize. It’s time to reflect the common sense of the American people, and that's why the bill takes the form that it does. It says that we've got to listen to the executives at N.P.R. that say they don't need taxpayer funding. Well, listen, we are all about looking for ways to cut right now and save on both sides of the aisle. We ought to take that advice for what it is. But we also know that N.P.R. takes its funding and benefits from taxpayer dollars through the payments of local stations across the country.
So what we're saying by this bill, those stations are not going to be starved from Corporation for Public Broadcasting grants, unlike the lady indicated. What they are going to be told is: you are not going to be using those taxpayer dollars for programming because we've seen how N.P.R. has used that funding and the kind of funding that's been involved. We are trying to find commonality. Our country is made up of much diversity, with people of a lot of differing opinions. Why should we allow taxpayer dollars to be used to advocate one ideology? Why should we? We shouldn't. We should insist that our taxpayer dollars are prioritized and the interests of the people of this country are honored. That’s why I urge my colleagues to support this bill, and I yield back.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA)
March 17, 2011