Four seasoned federal legislators – two Democrats and two Republicans – will co-chair the Public Broadcasting Caucus in the 116th Congress.
Taking seats as co-chairs are Republicans Fred Upton (6th-MI) and John Yarmuth (3rd-KY) and Democrats Earl Blumenauer (3rd-OR) and Mark Amodei (2nd-NV).
Rep. Upton chaired the House Energy & Commerce Committee for six years, while Rep. Yarmuth chairs the House Budget Committee. Rep. Amodei is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, and Rep. Blumenauer is a member of the House Ways & Means Committee and chairs its subcommittee on trade.
Blumenauer founded the Congressional Public Broadcasting Caucus more than 20 years ago to bring his colleagues together in support of public media and the important services they provide.
On March 18, President Trump on March 18 released his fiscal 2020 budget proposal, rescinding a large portion of funding for public broadcasting.
Upton noted that he majored in journalism and understands the importance of supporting public broadcasting for communities around the country. “It is simply good public policy,” said Upton. “I’m proud to offer my steadfast support so public broadcasting can continue to provide valuable services in education and public safety to families in Michigan and across the nation.”
“I am eager to work together with the new co-chairs of the Congressional Public Broadcasting Caucus to expand understanding in Congress of the vital role of public broadcasting in communities large and small,” Blumenauer said.
Rep. Yarmuth added,. “Public Broadcasting plays a vital role in communities across America and provides an irreplaceable service to all citizens. From children’s educational content, to promotion of the arts and humanities, to providing job training and public safety information — Congress should be working to increase federal investment and expand the important services public broadcasting provides. I look forward to working with my colleagues to help lead that charge in the 116th Congress.”
Rep. Amodei said, “Without federal support for public broadcasting, many localities would struggle to survive – particularly those in rural communities like mine,” he said. “I’m pleased to be a co-chair of the Public Broadcasting Caucus for the 116th Congress, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure Americans continue to have access to important public broadcasting programs and services.”
In response to the caucus’ leadership choices, APTS President/CEO Patrick Butler said, “The bipartisan nature of this leadership team reflects the bipartisan nature of public support for federal funding of public broadcasting. We look forward to working with these distinguished Members to increase this funding for the first time in 10 years and enable us to teach more children, protect more lives and property, and create more well-informed citizens to guide the world’s most important democracy.”