The amendment to the 2013 defense spending bill that would have prohibited military branches from sports sponsorship didn't pass in the House of Representatives Wednesday night.
The amendment, which was sponsored by Rep. Betty McCollum (D, MN) and Rep. Jack Kingston (R, GA), fell 216-202. It would have cut more than $72 million from the proposed $608 billion bill. Supporters of the amendment argued that the return on the investment from sponsorships like on Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s car doesn't match the investment.
Racing would have been the sport most heavily affected by the cuts. Earnhardt and IndyCar Series driver JR Hildebrand are sponsored by the National Guard and NHRA driver Tony Schumacher is sponsored by the US Army. Ryan Newman is currently sponsored by the Army in the Cup Series, but the Army previously announced that it wouldn't be returning in 2013. The vote does not affect the Army's decision to leave the Sprint Cup Series, and it also said that it would be staying in the NHRA.
It was the third time that an amendment to ban sports sponsorships has been presented and defeated. However, the vote has gotten closer the last two times, so there's a fair chance that we'll see similar arguments in the near future, perhaps even on the next defense spending bill. Want to see how your representative voted? The House posts all vote results here.
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