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Name That Bill

The JUAN Act?

3:50 PM, Nov 17, 2010 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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As this press release from the House Republican Whip’s office (see below) suggests, Republicans seem intent on defunding NPR. They presumably won’t be able to act on this until January, when they take control of the House. This gives us all time to suggest catchy names for this bill, which could be one of the first pieces of legislation the new GOP House passes (after the repeal of Obamacare, presumably, and a few good government measures).

Please send in your suggested bill name to webeditor [at] weeklystandard.com. I’ll start the bidding with one idea: The JUAN (Jettison Unbalanced Audio Now) Act.

YouCut Takes Aim At NPR Funding 

Latest YouCut Proposal To Hit House Floor Tomorrow

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) released the following statement to announce this week’s YouCut winner, a proposal that would eliminate taxpayer-funded support for National Public Radio (NPR) potentially saving taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. 

“On November 2nd, Americans sent an undeniable message to Washington to end wasteful spending. In the new Republican majority, the YouCut program will be an integral part of our effort to transform the culture of spending in Washington into one of savings. Americans have cast over 2.4 million YouCut votes, and the mandate to rein in spending has never been more clear."

"This week’s winning spending cut is a proposal developed by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) that would eliminate taxpayer funding for National Public Radio. When NPR executives made the decision to unfairly terminate Juan Williams and to then disparage him afterwards, the bias of their organization was exposed. 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.” 

“Over the past two years, Americans have become exasperated as they’ve watched the federal government grow to an unacceptable level by spending record-levels of money that it simply doesn’t have. In order to get America back to opportunity, responsibility, and success, Republicans and Democrats must come together and begin making tough choices. As Speaker Pelosi convenes this lame-duck session of Congress, this week’s YouCut vote will be an opportunity for members of both parties to tell their constituents — message received.” 

Description of this Week’s Winning Cut 

Terminate Taxpayer Funding of National Public Radio 

Savings of Tens of Millions of Dollars (potentially in excess of a hundred million dollars) 

National Public Radio's (NPR) recent decision to terminate commentator Juan Williams contract because of comments he expressed on another station have brought new found attention to NPR's receipt of taxpayer funds. 

NPR receives taxpayer funding in two different ways. First, they receive direct government grants from various federal agencies, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Education, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Over the past two years this direct funding has totaled approximately $9 million. But NPR also receives taxpayer funds indirectly. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting makes grants to public radio stations. While some of these grants can be used for any purpose, some can only be used to acquire and produce programming. Often this programming is purchased from NPR. Indeed programming fees and dues paid by local public radio stations to NPR accounts for approximately 40% of NPR's budget or about $65 million last year. A portion of these funds were originally federal tax dollars provided to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to the local public radio stations. 

Flow of Federal Tax Dollars to National Public Radio: 

NPR receives a significant amount of funding from private individuals and organizations through donations and sponsorships. For example in 2008, NPR listed over 32 separate private donors and sponsors who provided financial support in excess of half-a-million dollars that year. NPR officials have indicated that taxpayer funding makes up only a small portion of their overall budget. Therefore eliminating taxpayer support should not materially affect NPR’s ability to operate while at the same time saving taxpayers millions of dollars annually. 

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