House Votes to Give Taxpayer Dollars to NASCAR

| by Michael Allen

The House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to allow the Pentagon to continue to spend taxpayer money to sponsor sports leagues and teams.

The vote was a huge victory for NASCAR, which fought for tens of millions of tax dollars that go to some of its teams every year.

Sports leagues, including NASCAR, and the National Guard Association, an outside lobby group, claim that taxpayer-funded sports sponsorships are a good way to get the military's brand in front of young people, who are potential recruits.

A liberal-conservative coalition fought to cut the spending, but their amendment was defeated 216-202, with 60 Democrats and 156 Republicans voting to preserve the money, estimated to be $72 million in 2013.

Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) told the Washington Times: "This vote was an important test for Republicans and Democrats as to whether they have the stomach to cut wasteful Pentagon spending at a time when Washington is facing trillion dollar deficits.  Unfortunately, a majority decided taxpayer-funded race cars and bass fishing were more important than deficit reduction."

Voting to preserve the corporate welfare were House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Florida Democrat who is chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.