Deficit Reduction: They March to a Very Different Drummer on the Hill

Posted on July 12, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

So tell me, what was so difficult about cutting the budget for military bands?

When Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) proposed reducing the funding for military bands from $324.8 million to $200 million it seemed like a no-brainer, particularly given the fact that Republicans are all about reducing the federal budget through spending cuts.

Like McCollum said when she introduced her amendment to the 2012 Defense Authorization bill: “We all enjoy listening to military bands and cherish the traditions of military music…But at a time of fiscal crisis, $200 million must be enough for ceremonial music, concerts, choir performance, and country music jam sessions.”

The House Appropriations Committee agreed with her and voted in June to the funding decrease for military bands. Last Wednesday, however, the House, led by Texas Republican John Carter, voted to restore full funding for military bands.

Undaunted, McCollum marched right back into action and came back with another amendment. She scolded GOP lawmakers for their misguided priorities, pointing out that when lawmakers are cutting back on supplemental nutrition funds to children; cutting back on education and healthcare expenses; and forcing cuts to law enforcement, firefighters, and homeless veterans—how can they oppose “limiting funding for military bands to $200 million as a national security priority?”

McCollum’s amendment narrowly passed 226-199 last Thursday. Unfortunately, a second amendment offered up by McCollum that would have cut military spending on NASCAR endorsement and advertising from $63 million to $20 million was defeated 167-260.

Now, cutting taxpayer support to millionaire race car drivers and racing teams would have been sweet music to this girl’s ears.

C.Z.T.

About Turner GPA: One of the premier government and public affairs firms in the nation, Turner GPA specializes in state-of-the art advocacy that seamlessly integrates government relations and communications services. With a proven track record of achieving results, Turner GPA advocates on behalf of businesses, municipalities and non-profits that wish to ensure their concerns are addressed in Washington, DC, in state capitols and city halls. We create and implement intensely focused and targeted lobbying campaigns designed to meet and exceed client expectations and goals.

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