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Trump Budget Proposes Eventual Elimination of Public Broadcasting Funding

President Trump’s proposed 2017-18 budget, set to be unveiled on Tuesday, does not completely wipe out funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting but anticipates that federal money to stations and programming will end.

“There’s a little money left in the budget to allow us to wind down the federal position,” Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, told reporters on Monday. “I think we account for 15 percent of their funding right now. So we don’t take it to zero right away, but we do anticipate to.”

Such a move is not a surprise. An outline that the White House released in March proposed eliminating financial support for the CPB, which provides funding to public TV stations, NPR, and PBS. Its appropriation has been running at about $445 million in recent years.

Mulvaney did not say whether the budget also eliminates the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, but those cuts were also in the budget outline.

Public broadcasting stations have been warning viewers of the proposed cuts on air and in social media, and their lobbying efforts have so far worked. A budget package to fund the federal government for the rest of this fiscal year, through Sept. 30, retained public broadcasting funding. It even included a slight increase in funding for the arts.

Trump’s budget proposal, to be sent to Congress, includes big cuts to Medicaid, food stamp programs, and disability benefits while making increases in the defense budget.

“This is, I think, the first time in a long time that an administration has written a budget through the eyes of the people who are actually paying the taxes,” Mulvaney said.

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