Opponents to the bill strengthened their efforts to halt the measure from gaining House passage during this period. The first week of hearings in the House Commerce Committee were rife with charged testimonies regarding vague provisions in the Senate bill, the costs associated with the proposed Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the possibility of the public-funded news organization being used as a propaganda tool.
By the end of the first week of hearings, two of these concerns had been addressed. The House version of the bill, sponsored by Chairman Staggers clarified areas of the Senate bill which were deemed too broad or undefined and with testimony from Congressman Claude Pepper (D-FL), concerns of potential propaganda were quelled. However, the concerns over the proposed Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s federal subsidy remained a critical issue in the hearings.
In an effort to appease opponents of the bill, Congressman Staggers urged the committee to more precisely define its funding provisions in order to allow for the establishment of the new corporation before further review. Many of the amendments applied by the House Committee addressed these fiscal concerns. As a result, the House version of the bill established funding levels for three fiscal years and made the Corporation for Public Broadcasting subject to reauthorization in the future. The bill also mandated a maximum percentage of federal appropriations to each state that could be applied to building the infrastructure to produce and broadcast educational programing through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The House of Representatives approved the bill on September 21, 1967 with a vote of 265 in support and 91 opposed. In a bipartisan effort, Congressman Staggers and the ranking member of the House Commerce Committee, Congressman William Springer (R-IL) with aid from Speaker of the House John McCormack (D-MA) successfully defeated two amendments aimed at eliminating the Corporation for Public Broadcasting from the bill. At the conclusion of the vote, House Majority Leader Carl Albert (D-OK) commended the Commerce Committee and its chairman for their efforts to secure passage of the bill.