Senators who voted for Syria strike got more defense contractor dough

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Brendan Bordelon Contributor
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The ten Senate Foreign Relations Committee members who voted to attack Syria received 83 percent more campaign contributions from defense contractors than the seven senators who voted against it, according to analysis from Maplight.org.

Examining data from 2007 to 2012, the analysts found that the average senator who voted “yes” on the authorization of the use of military force took $72,850 from defense contractors and other defense industry interests. Senators who voted “no” received just $39,770 on average.

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain led the pack among those in favor, raking in about $176,000 from defense interests over five years. Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin garnered $127,000 from the defense industry, followed by Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, who picked up a cool $101,000.

The defense industry’s favorite among the “nays,” Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso, received just $86,000, about half of the money provided to McCain. Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio took in $63,000 and voted “no,” as did Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy, despite receiving $59,000.

None of the other four senators who voted “no” received over $20,000 in defense donations.

Next year’s projected $52 billion in sequester-mandated cuts to the Pentagon has defense contractors spooked. Frank Kendall, the DoD official in charge of acquisitions and technology, told the Washington Post last week that they were already examining which contracts would have to be cut.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen next year, and I don’t want to make major commitments to contracts that we may terminate once we get into [fiscal 20]14,” he said. “We’re going to have to make some hard choices, I think, in the next few weeks about what we do with some of our programs.”

Kendall did not comment on whether impending military action in Syria, which still awaits full congressional approval, would change the Pentagon’s calculations.

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