Federal funding for Public Broadcasting faces elimination under Trump's budget

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which pulled in about $445 million in federal funding in recent years, will see its funding eliminated under President Trump’s soon-to-be-released discretionary budget plan.

Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, confirmed reports that the budget would effectively “end federal involvement” with the corporation.

The funding supports stations like NPR and PBS, but a majority of the funds go to smaller, individual stations, Variety reported.

Although the money spent on these programs are relatively low, funding for public broadcasting has long been a target for Republicans looking to trim back on federal funding.

Salon reported that one-time presidential candidate Mitt Romney was interviewed by Jim Lehrer in 2012 and talked about the federal funding.

“I like PBS. I love Big Bird. Actually, I like you too,” Romney told Lehrer. “But I’m not going keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for.”

Earlier this year, the Heritage Foundation issued a report that said without federal funding, the CPB could make up “the lost money by increasing revenues from corporate sponsors, foundations and members.” Federal funds provide about 15 percent of public TV stations’ overall funding.

Trump’s budget plan is likely to face a long fight in the House and Senate. The plan he is introducing at 7 a.m. ET will likely not look like the final plan.

Many Republicans vowed to eliminate subsidies in 1995, but the effort fizzled. In 2005, Republicans controlling the House tried to cut subsidies for PBS, National Public Radio and hundreds of public radio and TV stations by $100 million, igniting an outcry from fans of "Sesame Street" and other defenders of public broadcasting. That bid failed, as did the most recent effort in 2011.

The effort coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act that created what PBS chief executive Paula Kerger in January called "the best public-private partnership."

"For about $1.35 a citizen a year, we provide an extraordinary service," she said at the time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report