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WASHINGTON (AP) – The New England Patriots got $675,000 from the Army National Guard to pay for honoring American troops.

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The Super Bowl champion wasn’t the only NFL team with a profitable Pentagon contract the past three years to finance those color guard ceremonies and flag rollouts. The NFL received $7 million over three years from contracts with the guard.

The Atlanta Falcons got $579,500; the Denver Broncos received $460,000.

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Republican Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake and Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal want the practice to end. They won Senate approval Thursday for a prohibition on the contracts, arguing that wealthy teams shouldn’t be receiving taxpayer dollars when the military faces cuts in spending.

The measure was added to a sweeping defense policy bill the Senate expects to complete next week.

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