On Thursday, June 23, the full House of Representatives voted to restore $100 million in federal funding for public broadcasting. Eighty-seven Republicans joined 196 Democrats and 1 Independent in supporting an amendment put forward by Representatives David Obey, Nita Lowey and Jim Leach to restore the FY 2006 CPB funding level to $400 million.
The enthusiastic response of viewers, station board members, community partners, and supporters was effective in letting Congress know how important public broadcasting is to the people of America.
The House did not restore funding for Ready To Learn, CPB Digital and Interconnection. Interconnection is essential to communication between PBS and the local stations and the funding for digital is vital to making the mandated conversion to digital broadcasting. Ready to Learn funds help fund the production of many of PBS' children's programs and helps fund MontanaPBS's education outreach around the state.
Public broadcasting will look to the Senate again to restore funding for these programs and preserve it during the conference process. The Senate Labor-HHS-Education mark up, which includes funding for CPB, is scheduled for July 14.