A clash of Senatorial cultures, as budget hawk Tom Coburn questions why the federal government should spend $3.8 million on the historic ballpark. Carl Levin’s response: it’s economic stimulus.
An attempt to strip $3.8 million for the restoration of the original Tiger Stadium grandstand from a $410-billion federal bill failed, as Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) successfully argued the spending would be an economic stimulus for the challenged Corktown area of Detroit.
The Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy is seeking to raise funds for the restoration of Tiger Stadium; the original grandstand would be redeveloped into a museum, while the rest of the site would be targeted for new development. A key part of the $27 million renovation is the acquisition of federal funds, along with various tax credits.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Ok.) is a noted opponent of federal earmarks: spending designed to address very focused needs. He argued spending money on Tiger Stadium is not something that would benefit taxpayers around the country, and he proposed an amendment to the spending bill to strip 11 earmarks from the spending bill, totalling $7.7 billion. The amendment failed by a wide margin, 61-34.
With funding for the Tiger Stadium restoration now present in both the Senate and House versions of the spending bill, it looks like the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy has nailed down one important part of the funding plan.
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