Today, the U.S. House defeated an amendment offered by U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2014 (H.R. 1960) prohibiting the Army National Guard from spending $53.5 million to sponsor World Wrestling Entertainment, NASCAR, and Indy Car racing. McCollum called the program a waste of taxpayer funds given that the Army National Guard has been unable to provide any data demonstrating that this recruitment program resulted in actual enlistments. The "McCollum amendment" was defeated by a vote of 134 to 290.
"This is a Congress that has its priorities seriously wrong. I am watching Republicans and Democrats coming together to slash government spending by kicking poor children off the school lunch program and denying low-income seniors access to food. Then these same folks turn around and protect a $53 million taxpayer handout to NASCAR and pro-wrestling," McCollum said. "It just shows the American people the extent to which Congress is addicted to spending that directly benefits special interests like NASCAR."
The "McCollum amendment" would have prohibited the Army National Guard from continuing its current contracts with the following companies:
World Wrestling Entertainment (Vince McMahon) - $5,150,000
NASCAR (Dale Earnhardt, Jr.) - $29,962,425
Indy Race League - $14,496,424
American Motorcycle Association - $3,960,100
The "McCollum amendment" was supported by Taxpayers for Common Sense, Citizens Against Government Waste, and the Project on Government Oversight.