NPR headquarters (Photo: NPR)
Eleven weeks into the new Congress, and with a grand total of zero jobs bills to their credit, Republicans convened an "emergency" meeting of the Rules Committee this week to rush to the floor H.R. 1076, to prohibit federal funding for NPR and for the acquisition of radio content.
The bill is an obvious reaction to James O'Keefe's ridiculous, fake attack video, and part of an all-too-clear pattern that includes attacks on ACORN and Planned Parenthood, with subsequent rushes to defund. It received no hearings, comes to the floor under a closed rule that permits no amendments, and required a very generous reading of the rule against considering legislation that hasn't been available for public review for three days—specifically, reading the requirement as having been met since it's been available for some part of three calendar days. That's what the actual rule says, not 72 hours of availability. Reform!
It should also be noted that despite the eye-rolling Republican rhetoric this morning about the need to cut spending, while the bill imposes certain prohibitions on the use of federal funds, it does not actually do anything with the money. Which is why the CBO scores the bill at a net budget savings of... zero dollars.
Speaking of eye-rolling rhetoric, try this one on for size. Rep. Richard Nugent (R-FL-05), handling the rule debate for Republicans, says they're not defunding NPR. They're "liberating it from public dollars."
Republicans just can't stop believing they'll be "greeted as liberators."