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McCollum plan nixed to end military NASCAR sponsorships

Posted by: under 4th District Updated: February 17, 2011 - 7:18 PM
It got her on CNN, and a death threat to boot.
 
But in the end, U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum’s plan to de-fund the military’s NASCAR sponsorships appears to have gone down in defeat this evening on the House floor.
 
A recorded tally is still pending, but a preliminary voice vote was ruled by the chair to have been carried by the “noes.”
 
That might come as no surprise in the new Republican-controlled House. But even a few Democrats might have been less than enthused about putting their names on an effort that seemed to go against one of America’s favorite pastimes and the defense of the nation.
 
North Carolina Republican Patrick McHenry denounced the NASCAR amendment as “politically charged,” and one that would undermine military recruiting. Car racing, he said, is a “target rich environment,” for military recruiters.
 
McCollum, a St. Paul Democrat, argued that the $100 million the military put into NASCAR sponsorships over the past decade has been a waste of money, saying there’s no evidence that it works.
 
"With trillion dollar deficits," McCollum said during a 10-minute floor debate, "this amendment is where the rubber meets the road for my Republican-Tea Party colleagues who want to cut wasteful spending."
 
McCollum’s push to end military NASCAR advertising is one of hundreds of amendments proposed in a House bill to fund the government through Sept. 30 – a veritable smorgasbord of budget cutting ideas.
 
But the NASCAR proposal has become one of the best-known. It’s received widespread media attention in the last two days – and at least one threatening fax to McCollum’s office.

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