Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas held a town hall meeting on Feb. 22 in Springdale, Arkansas, where he was questioned by a 7-year-old boy, Toby, about the Trump administration possibly cutting PBS funding so it can build the U.S.-Mexico border wall (video below).
"[President] Donald Trump makes Mexicans not important to people who are in Arkansas who like Mexicans, like me and my grandma," Toby told Cotton, reported CNN.
The crowd cheered wildly for the boy, who continued: "And he's deleting all the parks and PBS Kids, just to make a wall. He shouldn't do all that stuff for just the wall."
Cotton responded to the boy by painting Mexico as dangerous to itself and the U.S., which brought boos from the crowd:
Whatever your background, whatever your heritage, whatever your race or ethnicity or religious belief, part of the fabric of America is that we are a melting pot, and that we are one people. And we want Mexico to be a healthy, strong partner.
We want to help them to deal with the problems they've got with cartels and crime, and grow their economy. We also want to protect our citizens from that, and that's where the law comes in (more boos). So Toby, you can still have one and have the other.
On Feb. 17, The New York Times reported that the Trump administration was considering budget cuts to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which includes PBS.
The Huffington Post reported in January that Trump was considering privatizing CPB, which received $445 million in federal money in 2016.
The CPB released a statement at the time, warning against cuts:
The federal investment in public media is vital seed money -- especially for stations located in rural America, and those serving underserved populations where the appropriation counts for 40-50% of their budget. The loss of this seed money would have a devastating effect. These stations would have to raise approximately 200 percent more in private donations to replace the federal investment.
The CPB called itself "a public-private partnership in the best tradition of America’s free enterprise system." It added, "It is one of America’s best investments. It is not a large investment compared to most of what government does -- just about $1.35 per citizen per year -- but it pays huge dividends in education, public safety and civic leadership to millions of Americans and their families."