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Public Statements

Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. KISSELL. I rise in opposition to this amendment, and I'm not going to repeat what my colleague from Georgia just said. He covered the facts well.

I think it's important here that we recognize that relationships matter; and the relationship that we have seen with the military and especially NASCAR seems to be getting the brunt of the attention here, a long-time relationship, an important relationship.

NASCAR grew up in North Carolina. Its home is in my district in central North Carolina. While NASCAR has spread out throughout the Nation, which we're excited about, still the roots are here at home and in kind of rural America.

I don't think it's any coincidence that when we look at our military forces, about 41 percent of our military is from what we describe as rural America, which is only 17 percent of our population. And that relationship between the military and rural America is very important. The relationship between NASCAR and rural America--and all America--is very important. We don't need to interfere with that relationship.

I don't think it's any surprise that the most popular driver in NASCAR drives the National Guard car, No. 88, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. This brings kind of the relationship and the viewing that cannot be done in many other ways, and so we don't need to strike that relationship. We need to build upon that.

And when you start looking at the ramifications, as my colleague talked about earlier, other ways that this money can be used to help build this relationship, we look at NASCAR, the Special Forces working with NASCAR to develop equipment for our military.

I'm cochair of Invisible Wounds, the idea of how we can absorb the energy to help our soldiers that are in combat situations. NASCAR works on this.

The tickets that are given to our military families, to the military themselves, this is all part of that relationship. It works. We need for it to work.

I oppose this amendment and ask my colleagues to also oppose it.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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