Defense Contractors Lead $87 Million Lobbying by Top 10 in 2013

Source: Northrop Grumman Corp. via Bloomberg

Northrop Grumman Corp.’s Longbow Apache helicopter.

Lobbying spending by the 10 biggest U.S. contractors increased by just 2 percent last year over the previous 12 months as they faced a new round of across-the-board spending cuts and a partial government shutdown.

The companies, including Northrop Grumman Corp. and General Dynamics Corp., spent $87.2 million in 2013, an increase over the $85.3 million they spent a year earlier, Senate records show. Despite the larger number, just four of the 10 individual companies reported spending more in 2013 than 2012.

The new spending legislation mitigated the budget cuts and the  16-day partial government shutdown in October forced when House Republicans refused to fund the government without killing or delaying the president’s  health-care law.

Federal spending reductions led to an 11 percent decline to $456 billion in prime contract awards for the 12 months ending Sept. 30. 2013.

Northrop led the top 10 in lobbying,  spending $20.4 million, up from $17.3 million in 2012.  Northop CEO Wes Bush helped lead the fight against budget sequestration as chairman of the industry’s trade group, the Aerospace Industries Association. The No. 1 U.S. contractor, Lockheed Martin Corp., spent $14.4 million to lobby in 2013, down from $15.3 million a year earlier.

Lockheed CEO Marillyn Hewson told reporters today that the company will continue to speak out against sequestration.

“We do not think its good public policy,” she said., “I’m sure it will be revisited. We will again have our voice heard asbout the detrimental impact of an across the board cut.”

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