Military contractor cash matters, even on non-budget votes

Speaking Security Newsletter | Advisory Note for Organizers and Candidates, n°121 | 11 October 2021

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Short study

Before the House passed the $778 billion NDAA passed last month, there were a whole bunch of amendments to that bill brought to a vote. As far as the foreign policy-related votes go, here are three of them.

  • Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s, that reduces Pentagon spending by 10%

  • Rep. Garamendi’s, that defunds a program that would build more nuclear weapons

  • Rep. Bowman’s, that withdraws US troops in Syria unless a specific authorization is passed

For this study I ranked House Democrats by how campaign contributions each took from military contractors, broke up the list into thirds, and logged how members in each tier voted on the amendments.

On all three, House Dems in the top tier voted the worst and House Dems in the bottom tier voted the best. The strongest correlation between contractor cash and votes was on the amendment defunding the Pentagon by 10%. Little surprise there because it’s the one most significantly/directly related to the overall Pentagon budget. But there was still a visible correlation on the other two. 

None of the amendments passed, in part because so many Democrats voted against them.

Thanks for your time,

Stephen (@stephensemler; stephen@securityreform.org)

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