'Sesame Street' actors take to Capitol Hill to plead for funding
The human stars of "Sesame Street" took to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to help unions and activist groups protest proposed federal spending cuts to public broadcasting, according to The Associated Press.
Emilio Delgado (Luis), Roscoe Orman (Gordon) and Bob McGrath (Bob) discussed the effect the cuts could have on educational television like "Sesame Street." The actors were joined by fellow "Sesame Street" stars Alan Muraoka (Alan) and Alison Bartlett O'Reilly (Gina) and appeared as members of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
The actors were helping to deliver petitions asking the Senate to fully fund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which helps pay for "Sesame Street" and other programming.
The House has voted to end spending that totaled about $420 million last year.
Their efforts may not be in vain. Back in 1969, Fred Rogers appeared before United States Senate Subcommittee on Communications to plead for funding PBS and the Corperation for Public Braodcasting when the Nixon administration proposed to cut its $20 million in federal funding in half.
Rogers testified the programming like his was needed to help encourage children to become productive citizens and help them discuss feelings with positive messages. He cited lyrics to one of his songs.
John O. Pastore, the chairman of the subcommittee, was unfamiliar with Rogers' work and after listening to his testimony, proclaimed that he had goosebumps. The following year, congress increased PBS funding from $9 million to $22 million.
Check out footage from Rogers' testimony below.