All four representatives in the region voted to oppose HR 1076, a bill to prohibit stations from using federal funds to purchase programs from NPR or any other source: Chris Gibson NY-20, Bill Owens NY-23, Richard Hanna NY-24, and Peter Welch VT-1.
Gibson and Hanna were two of only seven Republicans in the nation to cross the aisle and oppose the measure. Here’s the full statement released by Rep. Gibson’s office a short time ago:
Today I voted against eliminating funding for NPR because I know that our local affiliates - like WAMC and North Country Public Radio – provide a valuable service to my constituents, particularly in our rural communities.
This was a vote I weighed carefully as I strongly believe that federal spending needs to be returned to the pre-TARP, pre-stimulus levels of FY 2008, and had this vote been to reduce federal funding to that level instead of eliminating it outright, I would have voted ‘yes.’
Looking forward, without question the most significant moment this year in terms of deficit reduction and restoring fiscal responsibility will be the unveiling of our Budget later this Spring.
We are working through the details of that now and I’m confident that it will appropriately address the severity of the situation and put our country back on track to fiscal responsibility, balanced budgets, and it will set the conditions for significant job creation and economic growth.
The measure still passed on a 228-192 vote, with all Democrats voting nay. It faces stiff opposition in the Senate and from the White House.