According to the Daily Treasury Statement, CNS News and Fox News, the government gave $445 million to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) during the shutdown’s first day. The CPB is known for its programming channels such as PBS and NPR.
Several Republicans seem to think the CPB’s funding is a conspiracy theory on behalf of the Obama administration in order to garner public support for Democratic views towards the Affordable Care Act and the other issues currently at the forefront of Congress’ debates.
“It’s more than irresponsible, it is reprehensible. It’s an ‘in-your-face’ move by the administration, blatantly picking winners and losers in this shutdown. Public broadcasting is a staple of liberal propaganda,” American Thinker columnist C. Edmund Wright told Fox411.
Despite hysteria on the side of the Republicans, the sum of $445 million was approved by Congress in 2012 and comprises an incredibly small fraction of the overall federal budget. U.S. Treasury representative Kelly Broadway informed Fox News of the situation in the following statement: “The United States Treasury sent public broadcasters their two-year advance appropriation — a sum, approved by Congress in 2012 for FY 2014, representing only 0.01% of the federal budget. Seventy percent of these indispensable dollars are promptly sent to locally-owned and operated stations in cities and rural communities all across the country, as they have been for most of the past 40 years. There, they provide jobs for more than twenty thousand people who are working to support ‘America’s Largest Classroom’ as well as the life-long learning for all Americans with our unique cultural, public affairs and news programs.”
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The CPB is unique in that it is not technically a federal entity, but it still receives federal funding. In fact, it is a non-profit corporation, but it was created by Congress in the late 1960s. This allows it to operate in some aspects outside of the government’s sphere and influence, while still maintaining its operations and functions via monetary support from the government.