For Immediate Release War Supplemental: Defense Contractor Stimulus Bill

Posted on June 17, 2009


The House and Senate will likely vote this week on the $106 billion war supplemental bill to continue funding for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The House passed the funding bill on Tuesday, and the Senate will likely vote this week. Like most supplemental spending bills, however, this one includes many add-ons, such as the continued production of the F-22 Raptor fighter jet.

This comes as good news for Lockheed Martin and Boeing Corporation, which have fought hard over the years to keep the production line going in spite of criticism about costs and performance of the F-22.

Lockheed gave more than $2.8 million in campaign contributions during the last election, of which $1 million went to just the members of the Armed Services and Appropriations Committees in the House and Senate, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Boeing spent $2.3 million, $940,000 of which went to these same committee members who have the most influence over the program's funding.

Lockheed has spent $6.5 million on lobbying so far this year, on top of the $15.8 million it spent last year. Including all of the outside law firms lobbying on its behalf, Lockheed had 146 lobbyists on Capitol Hill pleading its case. Boeing spent $16.6 million lobbying last year and another $2.4 million so far this year.

Some of the biggest recipients of contributions from Lockheed are the biggest proponents of the F-22. In January, Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), on the Armed Services Committee, and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), on the Defense Appropriations Committee, headlined a letter from 44 Senators to President Obama urging him to keep the F-22. Sen. Murray received $15,200 from Boeing last election, while Sen. Chambliss received $46,800 from Lockheed.

"Who is representing the public interest here?" said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause. "The defense secretary who says we no longer need this fighter jet, or the members of Congress who insist we do and enjoy generous campaign contributions from the jet's makers? This is another argument for taking special interest money out of congressional campaigns."

The conference report coming up for a vote this week includes an additional $600 million for the procurement of four F-22 fighters and bars the use of these funds to shut-down the F-22 production line, as the Obama Administration had wanted. It also permits the Pentagon to "explore options to develop an export variant of the F-22/A."

As far back as June 2006, the Government Accountability Office, in a letter to Rep. Bill Young (R-FL), then-chairman of the Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, reported: "The Department [of Defense] needs to reevaluate the value delivered by continuing production of the F-22A past what it has already committed to by examining the likely future threat and risk environment, the funding it can make available relative to other demands, and the alternative ways to achieve air-to-air and air-to-ground military superiority."

The report summarizes its findings as follows, "in our opinion, the DOD has not demonstrated the need or value for making further investments in the F-22A program." Not only has the F-22 been criticized for its cost overruns and unacceptable readiness rates, Congressional investigators questioned the underlying mission the plane was intended to serve.

Secretary Gates cut funding for the production of the F-22 in his proposed defense budget for 2010. If the war supplemental bill is any guide, Congressional supporters of the F-22 will continue to appropriate money for the fighter jet even though the Secretary of Defense says we don't need it.

Total Donations (in USD)

Cycle

Lockheed

Boeing

Total

2010

272,665

$74,730

347,395

2008

2,792,152

2,318,047

5,110,199

2006

2,159,490

1,448,291

3,607,781

2004

1,851,712

1,661,213

3,512,925

2002

2,427,048

1,782,802

4,209,850

2000

2,647,414

1,918,723

4,566,137

Total

12,150,481

9,203,806

21,354,287

Committee Recipients, 2008 cycle

Lockheed

Committee

House

Senate

Total

Appropriations

425,100

187,400

612,500

Armed Services

301,450

310,841

612,291

Total

726,550

498,241

1,224,791

Boeing

Committee

House

Senate

Total

Appropriations

274,400

169,800

444,200

Armed Services

286,350

209,763

496,113

Total

560,750

379,563

940,313

Top Recipients, 2008 cycle

House

Lockheed

Boeing

Granger, Kay

58,700

Skelton, Ike

32,550

Murtha, John P

34,900

Murtha, John P

29,150

Paul, Ron

24,725

Paul, Ron

22,688

Blunt, Roy

14,900

Larsen, Rick

12,550

LoBiondo, Frank A

14,600

Harman, Jane

12,500

Ryan, Tim

13,500

Sestak, Joe

12,500

Udall, Mark

13,500

Tiahrt, Todd

12,300

Senate

Lockheed

Boeing

McCain, John

81,675

Clinton, Hillary

61,964

Inouye, Daniel K

54,800

McCain, John

36,299

Chambliss, Saxby

46,800

Stevens, Ted

35,900

Clinton, Hillary

39,941

Bond, Christopher

24,300

Stevens, Ted

29,500

Graham, Lindsey

22,500

Cornyn, John

29,300

Murray, Patty

15,200

Landrieu, Mary L

19,650

Sessions, Jeff

14,250

Sessions, Jeff

19,150

Collins, Susan M

13,500

Graham, Lindsey

16,600

Chambliss, Saxby

13,000

Lautenberg, Frank R

14,250

Durbin, Dick

12,750

Baucus, Max

12,500

###

Office: Common Cause National

Issues: Money in Politics

Tags: Exposing Corporate Power

Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

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