A house panel voted today to stop the United States military from sponsoring NASCAR vehicles. The Pentagon has been using NASCAR sponsorship as a recruiting tool.
GOP Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia, who voted for the measure, told USA Today Sports:
"You've got to lead by example. I think that if Southern, pro-NASCAR people say, 'You know what, I love NASCAR. But this is not a good recruiting tool. We've got to make some serious decisions in the name of the (USA).' I think NASCAR fans would appreciate that... I don't believe for a second that NASCAR will suffer without these millions of dollars being pumped in by the taxpayer.""
The measure is an amendment attached to the $608 billion defense bill. It would also ban Department of Defense funding for professional wrestling and pro fishing.
Last year, Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum of Minnesota tried unsuccessfully to introduce legislation that would stop the military funding of NASCAR. A similar measure was able to pass this year through the help of Rep. Kingston.
The House Appropriations Committee vote is by no means the final step in the process. The full House of Representatives will vote on the measure. Then, the Senate will vote on its own version of the Defense bill, and that version might not include a NASCAR funding ban.