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Senator Russ Feingold has called TV Marti a "relic of the Cold War attempts to broadcast radio and TV signals into Cuba that virtually no one tunes in to."

Senate appropriators who voted to strip funding for TV Marti, a U.S. network aimed at Cuba, are exasperated that the omnibus spending bill would keep the perpetually jammed service on the air.

On Friday, opponents slammed the $5.5 million for TV Marti included in the spending-bill package passed by the House.

Senator's called the network a waste of money because the Castro government has successfully jammed its signal and blocked reception on the island.

Senate appropriators voted 17-13 in July to remove funding for TV Marti in their version of the State Department funding bill.

Sen. Byron L. Dorgan, who offered the amendment to strip funding for the network, said his proposal was "emasculated" in the spending package passed by the House, which includes a version of State Department measure.

"It is a complete and total waste of $6 million a year," Dorgan said on the Senate floor. "We're spending a lot of money broadcasting television signals that nobody can see."

The final funding total is far lower than the $32.5 million the House would have provided in its original State Department spending bill, which it passed in July.

Congressional foes of Castro defended the appropriation and TV Marti.


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