MAY 14, 2014

Fifth Shrink Our Spending (SOS) Initiative: Eliminates federal funding for the Voice of America

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) recently announced his fifth Shrink Our Spending (SOS) bill in a series of bills to be introduced over the next few months to cut wasteful and duplicative spending. Upon introduction of a bill to eliminate federal funding for the Voice of America (VOA), Salmon released the following statement:

“For my fifth SOS bill, I introduced legislation to eliminate federal funding for VOA. While originally commissioned to provide a ‘clear and effective presentation of the policies of the United States’, the VOA has veered from its original mission and has, sadly, become another duplicative, federal program. Rather than working to fulfill its original mission, VOA has fallen into the rut of merely mimicking other news outlets by simply reporting news. Unbiased news reporting is important in countries where freedom of the press is limited. Because of this, the United States already funds organizations tasked with disseminating unfiltered news to regions of the world that lack a free press. While a worthy cause, it is not one VOA was primarily tasked to do.

“Furthermore, Cold War relics, such as VOA, have been rendered obsolete with the rise of the Internet and social media, especially in closed countries which have connected our world in ways we could have never imagined. With the success of social media and other U.S. taxpayer-funded broadcasting programs, it makes fiscal sense to eliminate this superfluous federally funded entity.” 

The Voice of America (VOA) broadcasts began in 1942 as a response to the need for people in closed and war-torn societies to obtain reliable news. After World War II, VOA was preserved and transferred from the Department of War to the Department of State. According to its Charter, signed into law by President Gerald Ford in 1976, VOA is to "serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news, ... present a balanced and comprehensive projection of significant American thought and institutions, present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively, [as well as offer] discussions and opinion on these policies." VOA is now is one of a group of federally funded broadcasting entitles that reports to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). In addition to overseeing the VOA, the BBG is responsible for supervising, directing, and overseeing the operations of the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB, operating the Radio and TV Martí services to Cuba), and funds and provides oversight to the grantee broadcasters Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia (RFA), and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN). The VOA received $196,375,000 in FY13.

SOS Initiatives:
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 “Our nation is drowning in debt – $17.4 trillion dollars of it…Yet, our nation’s leaders continue to approve wasteful spending without a blink, and continue to spend your tax dollars in the most imprudent ways. Enough is enough. We must have the courage to start cutting spending somewhere…

Every federal department, agency and office has wasteful spending within their budgets.

To address this problem and honor my promise to you, I am pleased to announce the launching of my Shrinking Our Spending Initiative, or SOS Initiative. My SOS Initiative will push to make the hard spending cuts we refuse to make, in the areas of government we refuse to touch.

My goal through the SOS Initiative is to find at least 1.5 billion dollars in wasteful spending that can be eliminated.

As part of my SOS Initiative, I plan to introduce a new bill each week we are in session to cut wasteful spending in a different area of our federal government.

These bills will highlight wasteful and duplicative programs that your tax dollars are currently funding. And some of these wasteful programs will surprise you…”

Click here for more information about the SOS Initiative. Click here to watch the video.

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