51 members of Congress and their spouses collectively own millions in defense actions

Troops with the 1st Armored Battalion of the 9th U.S. Army Regiment UU., 1st Division of Fort Hood in Texas prepare for defense exercises in Lithuania in 2019.
Photo: Kulbis Mindaugas (AP)

51 members of Congress or their spouses own between $ 2.8 million and $ 5.3 million in shares in the top 30 defense contractors worldwide, Sludges reported on Monday, which puts them in a position to potentially benefit from the US military contracting process. UU. or the wars fought with the company team.

According to Sludge, the data was compiled by having a sifted bot through financial disclosure forms hosted on the websites of the House and Senate; The $ 2.5 million gap between upper and lower estimates is due to the fact that many members of Congress only report in ranks. 18 of the congressmen collectively own up to $ 760,000 in Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest defense contractor by revenue, and that increased 4.3 percent after the Trump administration killed a senior Iranian official by drone earlier this month, Sludge wrote.

According to the review, almost a third of the Senate Allocations subcommittee for defense expenditures, which regularly reviews significant expenses in the billions of dollars for the US army UU.– Own properties in large contractors. Four members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which approve the sale of weapons, have shares in companies that must request their approval to sell weapons and other military equipment to foreigners. That list includes Honeywell, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics, by Sludge.

Investments seem to be widely bipartisan. In the Senate, Dianne Feinstein ($ 650,000), Sheldon Whitehouse ($ 348,998), John Hoeven ($ 250,000), Tom Carper ($ 130,000), Rick Scott ($ 106,000), Susan Collins ($ 101,000), Roy Blunt ($ 100,000) and David Perdue ($ 100,000) top the list.

In the house, Steve Cohen ($ 415,000), Gerry Connolly ($ 400,000), Ro Khanna ($ 376,000), Greg Gianforte ($ 309,856), Debbie Dingell ($ 300,000), Phil Roe ($ 203,230), Fred Upton ($ 155,000), Bob Gibbs ($ 150,000)), Joe Kennedy ($ 150,000), Kevin Hern ($ 150,000), Francis Rooney ($ 135,000), and David Joyce, David Price and Thomas Suozzi ($ 100,000 each) are the first .

Spokesmen for members of Congress contacted by Sludge said their investments or those of their spouses in defense contractors do not affect their decision-making. Senator Feinstein’s office told the site that “she is not involved in her husband’s financial and commercial decisions” and that the $ 650,000 in Boeing shares belonging to her spouse were administered by a blind trust. Representative Ro Khanna, whose wife has $ 376,000 in shares of seven defense companies, told Sludge that “he has not personally invested in any defense action” and “has consistently voted against inflated defense expenses and has sought the responsibility of some of the largest defense contractors in our nation. “

The Stockholm International Institute for Peace Research (SIPRI) recently estimated that global arms sales were made for approximately $ 420 billion in 2018, an increase of about 4.6 percent over the previous year. according to USA Today. US companies accounted for approximately 59 percent of the sales of the top 100 contractors.

Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and L3 saw their stocks increase after the December 27, 2019 attack on an American contractor in Iraq in the period before the drone was killed, Marketwatch recently reported. Estimates of the total US defense budget. UU. They have been much taller than $ 750 billion requested Donald Trump in your budget for fiscal year 2020, with a nation report In May 2019, the search for applications for total defense-related expenses amounted to around $ 1.25 billion (“much wasted, wrong, or simply counterproductive”). Reports regularly found countless billions of dollars in Pentagon waste.

“Members of Congress must get rid of all investments linked to their responsibilities in Congress and avoid any conflict of interests or real or potential ethical dilemmas,” said General Counsel of the Government Oversight Project, Scott Amey, to Sludge.

Defense is one of the most politically powerful industries in DC. While general donations to candidates are lower than in many other sectors, Sample open secret data the industry donated more than $ 27 million to 2019-2020 candidates and committees and generally spends over $ 100 million annually. Following the US attack on the Iranian official, the retired president of the defense appropriations subcommittee of the House of Representatives, representative Pete Visclosky, was among the Democrats who remained silent. He received $ 1.7 million in campaign contributions from the defense industry since 1989, Sludges reported separately.


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