Young's Congressional Record Statement on NPR

Libby Casey, APRN – Washington, D.C.

Representative Young had this statement entered into the Congressional record since he missed yesterday’s (Thursday) vote on defunding NPR.

“Mr. Speaker, today, on March 17, 2011, the House will consider H.R. 1076, to prohibit Federal funding of National Public Radio and the use of Federal funds to acquire radio content. Unfortunately, I have a prior commitment that will prevent me from taking this vote. However, I feel strongly about this issue and I wanted to make those feelings known.

According to people that I have met with at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a public radio or broadcasting station is considered critically dependent on federal funding if thirty percent or more of its funding comes from federal funding. There are twenty-six National Public Radio (NPR) stations in Alaska and nearly half of them are critically dependent on federal funding. These stations serve cities, like KUAC in Fairbanks and KSKA in Anchorage. They serve salmon runs, like KDLL in Kenai and KDLG in Dillingham. The even serve places that are seemingly at the end the world, like KHUB on St. Paul Island and KBRW in Barrow. In many cases, these radio stations are the ONLY broadcast signal that many Alaskans get. To deny them access to basic news, early childhood education programming, and even emergency alerts, merely to serve a political agenda, is irresponsible.

I must, first and foremost, consider what is best for Alaska. When 11 NPR stations in Alaska would have to close their doors to the public if this bill becomes law, I must stand up for all Alaskans. As Alaska’s lone voice in the House of Representatives for the last four decades, I am proud to support NPR.”