By Eric Boehm | Watchdog.org
This just in: The military-industrial complex is a powerful force in Washington, D.C. politics.
It’s not exactly new information, but the debate over Syria seems to have exposed — once again — the degree to which defense contractors and others standing to profit from the United States launching missiles at a foreign country.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday voted 10-7 in favor of authorizing military action in Syria. The vote was the first step to a full Senate vote to authorize President Barack Obama’s plan to bomb the war-torn nation.
According to an analysis by MapLight, which tracks lobbying and campaign contributions in Congress, senators who voted in favor of the resolution received, on average, 83 percent more money from defense contractors and other defense interests than senators who voted against the resolution.
The MapLight analysis looked at campaign contributions between 2007 and 2012.
In raw dollars, the 10 senators voting in favor of the military authorization received a total of $728,000, for an average of $72,800.
It’s hardly surprising that uber-hawk Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., led the way with more than $176,000 in contributions from defense interests. (McCain, during the same hearing, was caught playing video poker on his smart phone).
On the other side, the seven senators who opposed military action in Syria received a total of $278,000 from defense interests, for an average of $39,000 per senator.
It’s worth noting that every senator on the committee received at least $14,000 from the defense industry between 2007 and 2012, according to MapLight. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, was the low man on that totem pole.
Of course, it’s easy to spend lots of money on politicians when your business is making missiles that sell for $1.45 million apiece.
Here’s the whole rundown:
Eric Boehm can be reached at [email protected] and follow @EricBoehm87 on Twitter.