OMB Director Says Opponents of Defunding Public Broadcasting Face a 'Hard Sell'

Melanie Arter | March 16, 2017 | 7:22pm EDT
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Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney (Screen Capture)

( - Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said at the White House briefing on Thursday the people who oppose President Donald Trump's proposal to eliminate all federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting face a "hard sell."

Mulvaney said that whether Trump vetoes any appropriation that Congress sends him that includes funding for items he wants defunded--including CPB and the National Endowment for the Arts--is something that will be addressed "at the appropriate time." asked Mulvaney: “The president has called for eliminating funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcast and the National Endowment for the Arts. If the Republican Congress sent the president appropriations bills that fund CPB and NEA, will he veto those bills and tell the Republican leadership to send bills that defunds those things?”

Mulvaney responded: “The message the president sent right now is that we want to defund those. And there’s completely defensible reasons for doing that. It's a simple message, by the way. I put myself in the shoes of that steelworker in Ohio, the coal-mining family in West Virginia, the mother of two in Detroit, and I'm saying, okay, I have to go ask these folks for money, and I have to tell them where I'm going to spend it.

“Can I really go to those folks, look them in the eye and say, look, I want to take money from you, and I want to give it to the Corporation of Public Broadcasting?" Mulvaney continued.

"That is a really hard sell," he said. "In fact, some of you don't think we can defend anymore.

“As to specific vetoes,” Mulvaney said, “you and I both know it doesn’t come over one by one, line item by line item doesn’t come over. They come over in large appropriations bills. And we'll work with Congress to go through the appropriations process and we'll make determinations on whether or not to sign appropriations bills or veto them at the appropriate time.”

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