Political action committees of the 10 biggest federal contractors, including Lockheed Martin Corp. and Boeing Co., contributed to more than 60 percent of House Republicans even after they opposed ending a government shutdown that caused “serious disruptions” in the companies’ operations.
Of the 144 House Republicans who voted against the Oct. 16 spending bill that would allow the government to reopen, 89 of them, or 62 percent, received PAC contributions in the subsequent six weeks from at least one of the 10 top U.S. contractors, according to a computer analysis of Federal Election Commission filings. That was a greater percentage than the 56 percent of lawmakers who supported the spending bill Oct. 16.
Contractors furloughed employees and saw contract awards delayed. The Aerospace Industries Association, the trade group for the defense aerospace industry, said in its year-end report: “After the early-October government shutdown that caused serious disruptions in the aerospace and defense industry, the number of companies harmed by Washington gridlock is approaching 100 percent.”
That didn’t stop the PACs from making donations to the Republicans who voted to keep the government closed.
“It’s making sure they can continue to have acces, even with lawmakers who are unfriendly,” said Craig Holman, who lobbies on campaign finance issues for Public Citizen, a Washington-based advocacy group. “That’s what campaign contributoins are all about.”