Huffpost Politics
Sam Stein Headshot

Top Defense Contractors Spent $27 Million Lobbying At Time Of Afghan Surge Announcement

Posted: Updated:

With Reporting By Julian Hattem

The ten largest defense contractors in the nation spent more than $27 million lobbying the federal government in the last quarter of 2009, according to a review of recently-filed lobbying records.

The massive amount of money used to influence the legislative process came as the White House announced it would ramp up military activity in Afghanistan and Congress considered appropriations bills to pay for that buildup. All told, these ten companies, the largest revenue earners in the industry, spent roughly $7.2 million more lobbying in the fourth quarter of 2009 (October through December) than in the three months prior.

Such an increase in lobbying expenditures is partly a reflection of just how profitable the business of waging war can be. Each of these companies earned billions of dollars in defense contracts this past year. As the U.S. ramps up its military activities overseas, and the army is stretched thin by other ventures, it stands to reason that the contracts won't dry up any time soon.

In mid-December, Congress passed a defense appropriations bill that totaled more than $635 billion. Shortly thereafter, the firm Northrop Grumman moved its corporate office to the Washington D.C. region to be closer to the heart of legislative action. Among the issues on which these ten firms lobbied, "appropriations" was the most frequently cited in lobbying forms.

"We've built Rome," one longtime good-government official said of the symbiosis between contractors and the government.

On a related note, the Congressional Research Service released a report on Thursday, which showed that the number of private security contractors has bulged in the wake of Obama's Afghanistan-surge announcement. Currently, contractors in Afghanistan make up between 22 percent and 30 percent of armed U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Below is a breakdown of the military contractor, lobbying expenditures and the amount of money the company earned in contracts last year.

Company: Boeing
Lobbying In Fourth Quarter: $6.13 million
Lobbying In Third Quarter: $3.71 million
Federal Contracts in FY08 (according to fedspending.org): $23,547,610,878

Company: United Technologies
Lobbying In Fourth Quarter: $3.66 million
Lobbying In Third Quarter: $1.39 million
Federal Contracts in FY08: $8,973,091,375

Company: Lockheed Martin
Lobbying In Fourth Quarter: $3.16 million
Lobbying In Third Quarter: $3.1 million
Federal Contracts in FY08: $35,729,713,235

Company: Honeywell International
Lobbying In Fourth Quarter: $1.94 million
Lobbying In Third Quarter: $1.66 million
Federal Contracts in FY08: $2,439,634,130

Company: Northrop Grumman
Lobbying In Fourth Quarter: $5.43 million
Lobbying In Third Quarter: $3.62 million
Federal Contracts in FY08: $24,921,637,857

Company: General Dynamics
Lobbying In Fourth Quarter: $3,000,697
Lobbying In Third Quarter: $2,496,308
Federal Contracts in FY08: $14,244,546,441

Company: Raytheon
Lobbying In Fourth Quarter: $2.19 million
Lobbying In Third Quarter: $1.9 million
Federal Contracts in FY08: $14,276,349,843

Company: L3
Lobbying In Fourth Quarter: $1.05 million
Lobbying In Third Quarter: $990,000
Federal Contracts in FY08: $7,464,053,901

Company: Textron
Lobbying In Fourth Quarter: $460,000
Lobbying In Third Quarter: $890,000
Federal Contracts in FY08: $2,858,396,315

Company: Goodrich
Lobbying In Fourth Quarter: $447, 098
Lobbying In Third Quarter: $425,529
Federal Contracts in FY08: $490,224,761

Around the Web

The KC-X Tanker Deal: Tracking the Lobbyists

Defense Industry Lobbies for Piece of a Smaller Pie - WSJ.com

Potomac Advocates - SourceWatch

The influence game: Defense lobby stresses jobs | National News ...

Register To Vote