WASHINGTON - Last spring, DFL U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum made headlines with an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to bar the military from sponsoring NASCAR racing teams. She's at it again but this time has support from across the aisle.
On Thursday, McCollum and Georgia Republican Jack Kingston successfully attached an amendment to a Defense Department spending bill that bans the Pentagon from sponsoring "professional or semi-professional motorsports, fishing, mixed martial arts, wrestling, or other sporting events or competitors."
According to McCollum, the Pentagon will spend $80 million this year on such sponsorships, and taxpayer support for racer Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s racing team over the past five years totals $136 million.
"At a time when Congress is increasing defense spending by cutting 'Meals on Wheels' for vulnerable seniors and nutrition programs for hungry children, it's time to eliminate wasteful Pentagon spending on NASCAR, fishing and ultimate fighting sponsorships that have nothing to do with our national security," McCollum said in a statement.
In the past, the military has said such sponsorships are a valuable recruiting tool.
In addition to this amendment, McCollum also has an amendment to another Defense Department bill under debate in the House that would limit spending on military bands to $200 million annually.(1 Comments)
WASHINGTON - Top Republican leaders in the U.S. House are pitching in to help first-term U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack try to hold onto his seat ahead of what's likely to be a tough campaign.
House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and other GOP leaders attended a fundraiser just a few blocks from the Capitol Thursday afternoon to help Cravaack and four other House Republicans representing potentially swing districts. Attendance cost a minimum of $5,000 per political action committee present.
The news was first reported by National Journal.
Cravaack defeated longtime DFL Congressman Jim Oberstar in 2010 but Democrats believe they can win back the 8th District this year. So far, Cravaack has raised more than $1 million and has $628,000 in the bank.
Earlier this week, all six DFL members of Minnesota's congressional delegation took part in a Capitol Hill fundraiser for Rick Nolan, who received the DFL's endorsement to run against Cravaack. Nolan still faces a primary challenge from Tarryl Clark and Jeff Anderson.