Congresswoman renews effort to end military sponsorship Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) is readying her next move in a months-long effort to slash Pentagon spending for NASCAR and other sports sponsorships. McCollum questions whether the U.S. military should be spending hundreds of millions of dollars on sponsorship deals for sports including stock car racing, professional fishing and pro wrestling at a time when the nation is running large deficits. Military officials and congressional supporters say the sponsorships help with recruitment. McCollum has failed twice to advance proposals that would have changed the way the military awards contracts and doles out funds for those events, as well as for ultimate-fighting sponsorships.
Bill Harper, McCollum's chief of staff, said the lawmaker would likely offer an amendment on the House floor to the 2012 Pentagon appropriations bill that would limit the funds the military could spend on sporting events. McCollum offered an amendment to the DOD spending bill last week that the House Appropriations Committee shot down in a voice vote. During the House Appropriations Committee markup, McCollum cited a $645,000 contract to sponsor a race in the Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR's top racing tour. She said the Air Guard 400, held last September in Richmond, Va., failed to deliver a single military enlistee. But a Pentagon official, in an email to McCollum's staff that was obtained by The Hill, described the event as a marketing opportunity that came at a bargain rate. The Hill
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