The House on Wednesday evening overwhelmingly rejected President Bush's plan to eliminate the $420 million federal subsidy for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The 357-72 vote demonstrated the enduring political strength of public broadcasting. The outcome was never in doubt, unlike a fight two years ago when Republicans tried but failed to slash public broadcasting subsidies.
The move to kill subsidies for the CPB, which make up about 15 percent of its budget, was launched by Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado.
"Taxpayers are being asked to pay more in taxes because Congress is not willing to make hard choices and balance our spending with our income," Lamborn said.
Don't MissCongress created the corporation in 1967 to shield public broadcasting from political influence. The CPB distributes federal subsidies to PBS, National Public Radio and hundreds of public radio and television stations.
"It is providing a voice for America, a noncommercial, independent voice that is sadly lacking. It isn't available any place else in the million channels on our cable networks," said Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon.
The vote came as the House for a second day debated a huge spending bill funding job training, education and health programs.
The underlying bill provides about $152 billion next year for programs whose budgets are set at lawmakers' discretion each year.
Among the largest increases is $2.2 billion to finance an increase of $260 in the maximum Pell Grant for college students