‘Paid Patriotism’ soon to be illegal

FILE - In this June 16, 2015 file photo, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Over White House objections, the Senate is poised to pass a $612 billion defense policy bill that calls for arming Ukraine forces, prevents another round of base closures and makes it harder for President Barack Obama to close the prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay. McCain urged his colleagues Thursday to set aside differences about government spending and pass the measure, which authorizes money Obama requested for the Pentagon and other national security programs. He said that the world is more dangerous than it was in 2011, when the automatic spending cuts kicked in. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

WASHINGTON (Media General) – Millions in tax dollars were agreed to be given to sports teams, but now those types of contracts will become illegal.

The Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act on Tuesday, and buried in the legislation is a section that bans what Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) calls “Paid Patriotism.”

“They obviously should not be doing this,” said Sen. McCain.

McCain and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) came out last week with a report showing that the U.S. government signed contracts with different sports teams – agreeing to spend around $6.8 million in tax dollars to sports teams in exchange for the team honoring military members.

“What’s upsetting is that when you see activities like this that people assume that are paid for out of the goodness of their heart,” said Sen. Flake. “Then to find out the taxpayers pay for it – it cheapens that.”

The Senate passed a massive military spending bill Tuesday, which had a new section buried in the legislation that now makes it illegal for the pentagon to make these deals again for any sporting event.

“The Department of Defense was unusually and especially, in trying to without this information from us,” said McCain.

McCain complained the DOD fought to provide the contracts exists, and found several NFL owners claimed they didn’t even know their teams were accepting money for those events.

“What’s important to keep in mind is that the NFL teams, NBA teams, all these major league sports teams do a lot of good work for the military – a lot of good work,” said Flake. “That dwarfs anything in these contracts.”

The NFL has said they received from the DOD.

President Obama is expected to sign the military spending bill.

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