House GOP cuts off NPR

HOUSE GOP CUTS OFF NPR…. Following an emergency session — an emergency session — of the House Rules Committee, the House met today to tackle a pressing matter of great national importance to the new Republican majority. Was it about creating jobs? No, in fact the proposal on the floor would lead to layoffs of roughly 9,000 American workers.

The topic today was NPR.

The House voted on Thursday to cut off funding for National Public Radio, with Democrats and Republicans fiercely divided over both the content of the bill and the manner in which it was brought to the floor.

Under the measure, sponsored by Representative Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado, stations could not buy programming from NPR or any other source using the $22 million the stations receive from the Treasury for that purpose. Local NPR stations would be able to use federal funds for operating expenses, but not content.

Here’s the final roll call. Note that zero Democrats went along with this little gambit, and seven House Republicans broke party ranks and voted with Dems. Given the large Republican advantage, the bill passed 228 to 192, but it’s unlikely to get much consideration in the Senate.

That’s kind of how the House works — scramble to pass a bill that makes the base happy, knowing full well it won’t go anywhere, wasting the entire institution’s time for the purposes of a vanity project.

Also note, the House Republican leadership promised the nation that all legislation would be publicly available for 72 hours before it could come up for a vote. The bill to defund NPR was posted just 48 hours ago, meaning that today’s vote would break the House GOP’s own self-imposed rule.

When pressed for an explanation, Republican officials said their own 72-hour rule wasn’t meant to be taken literally.

Seriously, that’s what they said.

And if that weren’t quite amusing enough, take two minutes to watch Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-N.Y.) floor remarks. You’ll be glad you did.