McKeon moves to block measure ending military’s NASCAR sponsorships

“These are duties not required by existing law, and therefore make the provision subject to a point of order,” McKeon wrote in the letter obtained by The Hill.

McKeon’s point of order against the NASCAR provision will be considered at a Rules Committee hearing Thursday afternoon.

The measure to stop the military from funding NASCAR was introduced as an amendment to the Defense appropriations bill by Reps. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) and Jack Kingston (R-Ga.).

They say that the military doesn’t need to spend tens of millions annually on sports sponsorships during a time of budget austerity. The military spent about $80 million on sports sponsorships in 2012.

The military argues that the sponsorships, such as the National Guard sponsoring NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s car, help the military’s recruiting efforts.

McCollum says that the sports recruiting has not actually led to new enlistments. 

McCollum had introduced the sports funding ban in 2011, but her amendments failed to pass. This year, she joined up with Kingston, a Tea Party Republican, to help get the measure through, and it passed the Appropriations Committee on a voice vote that was divided.

A Democratic House aide said McKeon was expected to succeed with his procedural move in the Rules Committee due to the GOP majority there. The aide said if that occurs, a similar amendment will be offered when the Defense Appropriations bill goes to the House floor.

In his letter, McKeon argued that incorporating the sports funding measure in the appropriations bill would “undercut” the Armed Services’ panel jurisdiction. He noted that McCollum offered an amendment on the floor to the Defense authorization bill — the bill under McKeon’s committee — to cut the NASCAR funding, but it was also “not made in order” by the Rules Committee.

An aide to House Appropriations Defense subcommittee Chairman Bill Young (R-Fla.) did not respond to a request for comment on McKeon’s point of order.