Sunday, July 1, 2012

Showdown looms in House on measure to end military’s NASCAR sponsorships

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) this week struck back at a measure ending the military’s sponsorship of NASCAR, setting the stage for a showdown on the House floor next month.
McKeon raised a point of order against a provision in the Defense appropriations bill that would kill military sponsorships of NASCAR and other sporting events. And the Rules Committee decided Thursday to allow a vote on the House floor to strip it from the bill.
McKeon had to object to the provision because it passed the full Appropriations Committee — something that failed to happen for a similar measure in committee and on the House floor in 201
One big difference: Last year’s NASCAR amendment was pushed by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), but this time around she was joined by a Tea Party Republican, Rep. Jack Kingston (Ga.). Kingston voted for McCollum’s amendment in 2011, but now he’s leading the charge and trying to convince members in his party that the idea is a good one.
Kingston’s drive will put Republicans into dueling camps during floor debate of the Defense appropriations bill, as defense committee heads like McKeon and Defense Appropriations subcommittee Chairman C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.) are opposed.
The conflict features issues Republicans tend to be fond of — cutting spending, the military and NASCAR — against one another. While the $80 million in funding that’s at stake is a small fraction of the Appropriations Committee’s proposed $519 billion base Pentagon budget, the issue raises passions because of its ties to auto racing.

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