Democratic Rep. Betty McCollum looks at the $324 million requested by the Pentagon to fund its 5,000 professional musicians in 154 military bands, and she sees the possibility of saving the taxpayers some money.
And the Republicans in control of the House are all about cutting the budget, right? So she offered an amendment in June to the 2012 Defense Authorization bill to cap the expenditure at $200 million. And it passed.
But a funny thing happened to the amendment when it fell into the hands of Texas Republican John Carter: He succeeded in having McCollum's amendment struck on a voice vote Wednesday night, and the $324 million was restored.[jump]
So McCollum came back with another amendment.
"Republicans are forcing cuts to law enforcement, firefighters, and homeless veterans," she said last night. "But they take a stand opposing limiting funding for military bands to $200 million as a national security priority?"
Maybe not. They backed down. The new amendment passed about an hour ago. And McCollum celebrated on her Facebook page.
This is the first defense appropriations amendment to cut defense spending.
We're pretty sure national security won't suffer too much.