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In Opposition to the McCollum Amendment

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  JR Hildebrand

In Opposition to the McCollum Amendment

Representative Mike Pence of Indiana
Remarks as published in the Congressional Record Extensions of Remarks
July 6, 2011
Washington D.C., USA

The House in Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union had under consideration the bill (H.R. 2219) making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012, and for other purposes:

Mr. PENCE. Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition to the amendment offered by the gentlelady from Minnesota, Ms. MCCOLLUM.

The amendment would prohibit the Department of Defense from advancing their recruitment and retention goals through various athletic sponsorships.

At a time when our forces are undertaking operations in multiple theaters, I think it is wise that this body not end the very successful platform used by the Department of Defense to recruit men and women into their ranks.

Contrary to popular belief, sponsorships also go far beyond driver appearances, commercials and decals on race cars. In fact, the National Guard?s Sponsorship of the Panther Racing IndyCar team has not only been successful in recruitment efforts, but it also has been successful in technology sharing. J.R. Hildebrand, who drives the National Guard Indy car, wears ear sensors that measure the G-forces he experiences during a crash. That information is very useful for neurosurgeons who treat soldiers suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury, often the result of roadside bomb attacks.

Understanding the nature and effects of Traumatic Brain Injury advances the ways in which we protect and treat our fighting men and women, and those same sensors worn by J.R. Hildebrand will soon be deployed to our soldiers downrange.

These athletic sponsorships are great recruitment and marketing tools, and they also help improve the lives and care of our service men and women. I urge my colleagues to oppose the McCollum Amendment.

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