Today, Congress approved a Continuing Resolution (CR), a short-term funding measure that keeps the government and its programs, including support for public media, funded at roughly last year’s spending levels through December 11, 2020. The President is expected to sign the CR into law.
This action gives lawmakers additional time to finalize the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 spending bills beyond September 30, the end of the current fiscal year.
This week, the House of Representatives released an updated COVID-19 relief bill that contains $175 million in emergency funding for public media stations. At this point, it is unclear if bipartisan negotiations on a coronavirus relief bill will move forward before the election.
Lawmakers are expected to return home for most of October. After the election, Congress will come back to Washington, D.C. and the consideration of annual and COVID-19 relief funding for many programs, including public media, are expected to resume.
The Outlook for Public Media Funding:
Over the summer, the House of Representatives approved increased federal funding for public media as part of a larger spending package. The U.S. Senate has not yet released any of their FY 2021 spending bills.
In the weeks after the election, the House and Senate will need to come together to set final FY 2021 funding levels.
How to Champion Funding:
Fervently voicing our support before these discussions begin will be essential to protecting federal funding for local public radio and television stations.
Members of our Action Network will be the first to know when the debates restart and how to affect the outcome.
This year’s effort to secure federal funding for public media has been a marathon. Collectively, over the last several months, our Action Network has helped us make significant strides toward our goal of strengthening local stations.
We’re close to the finish line. If we make our voices heard when it counts the most, we can succeed and secure federal funding for more than 1,400 local public radio and television stations.
We’re grateful for public media’s staunch grassroots supporters who have and will continue to work tirelessly to preserve our local institutions of learning, news, information, and civil discourse.