Rep. Rohrabacher: International Broadcasting Bureau Ignores Congressional Request to Save Critical Office
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) stepped up his opposition to massive cuts aimed at the International Broadcasting Bureau’s Office of Policy, which creates editorials that explain US Government policies to foreign audiences. In a letter sent to the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB), an organization responsible for supporting the work of Voice of America (VOA), he insisted that they reconsider a decision that would undercut the United States’ national security.
Rep. Rohrabacher, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats, wrote in a September 12th letter to IBB Director Richard Lobo, “It was the clear intent of the Congress, both in the VOA Charter and in… public law, that these editorials be broadcast by all VOA language services and across all platforms – radio, television, and the Internet. Given the importance of the editorials… I am very concerned over the budget cuts proposed for the IBB Policy Office in Fiscal 2014 budget. The Office of Policy, which has been significantly downsized in recent years, is facing a nearly fifty percent reduction. The cut, if implemented, would leave only a skeleton staff and would seriously degrade the ability of that office to carry out its mission.”
On September 17th the IBB Director responded by stating, without explanation, that “the reduction in funding for the Office of Policy in the President’s FY14 budget request would not prevent VOA from meeting its legal requirements.”
Congressman Rohrabacher stated, “Director Lobo’s answer was totally insufficient. He is playing word games and ignoring the real issue. Congress gave his organization a clear mission and it is unacceptable that he continues to cut back vital operations which support US foreign policy.”
Rep. Rohrabacher is Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats.