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Hanna, Slaughter Defend NPR Against House Defunding Vote

By Michael Benjamin


Oswego, NY – By a vote of 228-192, the House of Representatives voted to block federal money from going to National Public Radio.

Western New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter spoke on the House floor on behalf of the congressional representatives opposing the defunding measure.

"[T]he backers of this bill said to me yesterday that taxpayers shouldn't have to fund with - their hard-earned money - what they don't believe in," Slaughter said. "Well that's an interesting theory, but democracies don't operate that way. If they could, my husband and I - and two-thirds of the people in America - would gladly be excused from paying the $8 billion a month that we pay for a war which we profoundly do not believe in."

The majority of House Republicans voted to defund NPR, including Syracuse-area Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle.

However, seven Republicans voted against the measure. One of them was Utica-area Congressman Richard Hanna.

In a statement, Hanna says the defunding measure would not save taxpayers a dime.

"This legislation restricts funding for one media organization, NPR, while allowing others to continue receiving federal dollars," says Hanna. "I am troubled that this bill would have government picking winners and losers in the media. This bill was unnecessarily rushed through the House and amounts to political censorship through the power of the purse."

Albany-area Republican Congressman Chris Gibson also voted against

The measure now moves to the Senate, where it is unlikely to be approved by that chambers Democratic majority.

The White House also opposes defunding National Public Radio.