On the first day of the “shutdown” of the federal government, when members of the U.S. Senate were going to the well of their house to point out that the shutdown would prevent the National Institutes of Health from starting clinical trials for cancer patients and others facing possibly terminal illnesses, the administration was giving $445,000,000 to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, according to the Daily Treasury Statement.
That means PBS NewsHour, National Public Radio and Sesame Street got a taxpayer subsidy during the shutdown, but not would-be cancer patients at the NIH.
The $445 million the Treasury handed over to CPB was more than the $119 million the Treasury paid on the first day of the shutdown in interest on U.S. government debt that is held by the public. It was also more than $171 million in Social Security benefits the Treasury paid that day. But it was less than the $592 million the Treasury paid for Veterans Affairs programs on the first day of the shutdown.