This was a vote on a motion to recommit that would have allowed National Public Radio (NPR) to continue receiving federal funding exclusively for the purpose of broadcasting AMBER alerts, which disseminate information on missing children. A motion to recommit with instructions is the minority's opportunity to torpedo or significantly change a bill before a final up-or-down vote on the measure. This motion to recommit was offered to legislation eliminating federal funding for NPR.
Rep. Betty Sutton (D-OH) urged support for the motion to recommit: “NPR is designated as a disseminator of AMBER Alerts via arrangements with the Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The deployment of next-generation emergency alert systems is in progress, and NPR is positioned to play a vital, necessary role with its satellite-based capabilities. Recklessly eliminating funding critical to the effective functioning of the AMBER Alert System would be a tragic mistake. Children of every age, gender and race are vulnerable to child abduction, and when it happens, time is the enemy. Communities must mobilize quickly. The widespread use of the AMBER Alert network is the nation's most powerful tool for bringing abducted children home. AMBER Alerts also serve as deterrents to those who would prey upon our children. AMBER Alert cases demonstrate that some perpetrators release the abducted children after hearing the AMBER Alerts on the radio or seeing them on television.”
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) opposed the motion to recommit: “I think we all agree that this nation's children, our children and our grandchildren are an incredibly important part of our lives…Now, while we all heartily support the AMBER Alert program, we also know there is nothing in the H.R. 1076 [the underlying bill] that would prohibit the AMBER Alert program…. As I said, as we talked about the bill, it is imperative that we be good stewards of the taxpayers' money, that we get this fiscal house in order. It is time to get NPR out of the taxpayers' pocket. The underlying bill does that. I encourage a `no' vote on the motion to recommit. I encourage an `aye' vote on H.R. 1076.”
The House rejected this motion to recommit by a vote of 184-235. All 184 Democrats voted “yea.” All 235 Republicans present voted nay. As a result the House rejected a motion to recommit that would have allowed National Public Radio (NPR) to continue receiving federal funding exclusively for the purpose of broadcasting AMBER alerts, which disseminate information on missing children.