Congressman Jim McGovern says there's a better way to honor American veterans than bankrolling lavish patriotic displays at professional sports games—and that's putting in the VA.

A Senate report released Wednesday reported that the Pentagon paid professional sports teams $6.8 millionover the past four years for such displays, which included ceremonial first pitches and performances of the national anthem. 

"I believe we ought to honor our veterans, but I believe a better way to honor our veterans would be to take that money and put it in the VA so they get the health care they need as quickly as they need it and their needs are being taken care of," McGovern said on Boston Public Radio Thursday.

McGovern said he was in favor of a "top-to-bottom" audit of the Pentagon to identify other unnecessary spending.

"I've always believed there ought to be a top-to-bottom audit of the Pentagon because...I think there are a lot of things we're spending money on that, if people knew about it, would not be happy with," he said.

To hear more from Congressman Jim McGovern—including his take on how new Speaker Paul Ryan will manage the House—tune in to Boston Public Radio above.