Crow, Gallego Led Effort to Secure Full Funding for Stars and Stripes

April 30, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Reps. Jason Crow (CO-06) and Ruben Gallego (AZ-07) today led a letter to the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense Chairwoman Betty McCollum and Ranking Member Ken Calvert, urging them to provide full funding for Stars and Stripes in Fiscal Year 2022. 

“Stars and Stripes provides timely, unbiased, and accurate national security and military news, especially for deployed service members. We support this essential program and the services it provides to servicemembers and the nation writ large. We request full funding of $15.5 million for Stars and Stripes in Fiscal Year 2022 in order to continue a unique, necessary, and successful program,” the lawmakers wrote. 

Stars and Stripes is an editorially independent publication that has provided news to millions of servicemembers, their families, and the many communities that have a vested interest in the going-ons of the military for generations. 

Due to consistent federal funding, Stars and Stripes is free of charge to deployed service members, but operates a subscription model for the general public. With an annual federal budget of only $15.5 million, Stars and Stripes is a low cost, high return investment of taxpayer dollars. Last year, President Trump’s budget proposed zeroing out funding for the newspaper, which would have forced the paper to shut down. Most recently, Congressional efforts in the National Defense Authorization Act and the Defense Appropriations bill ensured continued operations.  

In addition to Crow and Gallego, the letter was signed by Reps. Don Beyer, André Carson, Jimmy Panetta, Elaine Luria, Jim McGovern, Jack Bergman, Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Abigail Spanberger. 

A copy of the letter can be found online and below:

Dear Chairwoman McCollum and Ranking Member Calvert, 

Stars and Stripes serves nearly 1 million customers daily through a combination of print media, online publications, and a podcast. The target audience and one of the primary consumers of Stars and Stripes is American servicemembers, especially those who are deployed. With overseas bureaus including Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan, Korea, and more, Stars and Stripes is an invaluable resource for service members, their families, and the many communities that have a vested interest in the goings on of the military. 

As a journalistically independent component of the Defense Media Agency, Stars and Stripes is in a unique position to provide a much-needed service to the military community and the country. In 2019, Stars and Stripes delivered over 7 million copies of its weekly U.S. print newspaper, 500,000 digital editions, and over 4 million special publications across the globe. In the same year, Stripes.com registered nearly 20 million unique visitors and 13 million views on mobile platforms. The paper is ideally situated to access and report on timely and relevant defense related information while avoiding the perception of institutional bias. In the reality of rapidly evolving current events, Stars and Stripes’ policy and reputation ensures an impartial platform outside the chain of command that servicemembers trust.  

Due to consistent federal funding, Stars and Stripes is free of charge to deployed service members, but operates a subscription model for the general public. With an annual federal budget of only $15.5 million, Stars and Stripes is a low cost, high return investment of taxpayer dollars. In 2016 and 2020, the President’s Budget proposed zeroing out funding for this newspaper. This drastic cut would have likely forced the newspaper to shut down. Most recently, Congressional efforts in the National Defense Authorization Act and the Defense Appropriations bill ensured continued operations.  

Stars and Stripes provides timely, unbiased, and accurate national security and military news, especially for deployed service members. We support this essential program and the services it provides to servicemembers and the nation writ large. We request full funding of $15.5 million for Stars and Stripes in Fiscal Year 2022 in order to continue a unique, necessary, and successful program.  

Sincerely, 

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