Let’s Ask Kline For a Better Way to Spend $53,948,949

Did you hear that because of sequestration, 115,000 traditional National Guard forces will not receive their annual medical or dental examinations ?
The Guard says: “This reduction in examinations will bring total force medical readiness down by 39 percent.

Heck, if this Republican-controlled House is willing to inflict sequestration on our military — even as it undermines our readiness, it is not much of a surprise that the Republican-controlled House is willing to cut children off of school lunch programs and reduce investment in Head Start to save money …

But when confronted with the 2014 Defense Authorization bill, one would think that when a Member challenges them on an opportunity to cut real waste, that would be a no-brainer.

Well, apparently, 290 Members have no brains.

Betty McCollum (D-MN-04) offered the amendment

Ms. McCOLLUM. The Army National Guard is spending over $53 million in taxpayer funds this year to sponsor World Wrestling Entertainment and motor sports racing.
That’s right. At a time of enormous Federal budget deficits, endless borrowing from China, sequestration’s harming military readiness, and deep cuts to services for vulnerable children, seniors and people with disabilities, the Army National Guard is spending over $53 million to have its logo highlighted at World Wrestling Entertainment events and to sponsor NASCAR racing and IndyCar racing. After years of congressional debate, the Army National Guard still cannot provide any data–zero statistics–to demonstrate anyone has signed a recruiting contract as a result of this program.
This amendment can bring both liberals and Tea Party conservatives together. The fact that $53 million in taxpayer funds is going to sponsor some of the most violent and sexist entertainment on television and NASCAR racing teams that result in zero recruits is a waste of money, and it should be stopped.

As a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, over and over these past 3 months, our subcommittee has heard from military leaders that sequestration is causing a crisis: military readiness is diminished; hundreds of thousands of critical civilian Pentagon employees are being furloughed; and vital services, like access to mental health care, are being cut.
In fact, the National Guard testified that, because of sequestration, 115,000 traditional National Guard forces will not receive their annual medical or dental examinations.
The Guard says: “This reduction in examinations will bring total force medical readiness down by 39 percent.”

Yet the National Guard can afford to pay one NASCAR race car driver $29 million and to pay another driver $14 million for IndyCar racing?
Clearly, this is a case of misplaced priorities. Congress has to make tough choices and smart cuts. Terminating this wasteful, ineffective program is an easy choice unless you want to protect government handouts to millionaire race car drivers and owners.
In the past, some of my conservative friends have made the claim that cutting this wasteful spending was micromanaging the Pentagon. My job is not to protect race car track owners and millionaire race car drivers.
Cutting government waste and protecting taxpayer dollars is not micromanaging.
It is our job.

Yep, 290 Members FAILED in their job.

Voting against the McCollum cost savings were : John Kline (R-MN-02), Erik Paulsen (R-MN-03), Collin Peterson (D-MN-07) and Tim Walz (D-MN-01)
Voting for commonsense and fiscal responsiblity were : Keith Ellison (D-MN-05), Betty McCollum, and Rick Nolan (D-MN-08)
Note : Michelle Bachmann (R-MN-06) did not participate in roll call votes as she was speaking at the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference in nearby WAshington, June 14, 2013.

Let us remember this is largely a recruitment tool … even though the size of the military is being reduced and John Kline and the House Armed Services Committee plans to alter the formula used to calculate the initial retirement benefit for some retirees in order to fund TRICARE Standard healthcare benefit … gosh, don’t you think that these soldiers would rather see the monies spent on their healthcare and pension rather than NASCAR logos ?

$53,948,949 … com’n Chairman Kline … how important is NASCAR, Motocross, American Motorcycle Association, Indy Race League and the World Wrestling Entertainment … heck, did they even exist when you joined the military ?

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