No More National Guard Car?
A once partisan amendment known for it's continual failure and opposed by the National Guard Association of the United States has recently passed the House Defense Appropriations Committee. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) convinced Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) to join her effort this year to restrict the way the Department of Defense focuses their recruiting and retention operations. The McCollum - Kingston amendment states that: "None of the funds made available in this act may be used to sponsor professional or semi-professional motorsports, fishing, wrestling or other sports." It doesn't reduce recruiting funding though, just restricts it.
While all of the services sponsor many sporting events and athletes, the National Guard is best known for it's sponsorship of motorsports - both NASCAR and Indy. In fact, McCollum specifically highlights the National Guard's sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt Jr, the #88 car on her website. You will also notice on her site that since FY2010, the National Guard has reduced their financial contract with Earnhardt by almost 25%. They don't need Congress telling them when the belt should be tightened.
For the National Guard, Congress is most often our biggest supporter in the National Capitol Region, but in this case, we'd like to leave the recruiting decisions to the recruiters. They've done a fine job for 2012! And we would surely miss the excitement and pride of seeing our National Guard car racing around those tracks filled with fine American patriots.