At least 15 lawmakers who shape US defense policy have investments in military contractors

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Business Insider

The politicians hold posts on either the House or Senate armed-services panels.

They’re investing their money in defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Boeing.

Potentially profiting off oversight duties is indefensible, ethics watchdogs say.

At least 15 lawmakers who hold powerful positions on a pair of House and Senate committees that control US military policy have financial ties to prominent defense contractors that together were worth nearly $1 million in 2020, according to an Insider analysis of federal financial records. And throughout 2021, both Democrats and Republicans serving on the congressional Armed Services committees have continued to invest in or cash out of the most important players in the military and defense industry. Some of the world-renowned weapons makers and defense-technology developers peppered across the committee members’ financial disclosures were Lockheed Martin Corp., Boeing Co., Raytheon Technologies Corp., Honeywell, and General Electric. All are companies that also annually spend millions of dollars lobbying the federal government to prod elected officials, shape policy, and win lucrative government contracts. Lawmakers with investments riding on defense contractors’ well-being — some worth upward of five figures — include seasoned Capitol Hill veterans and Washington newcomers, Insider found when analyzing documents disclosing their personal financial holdings for 2020. The tally is part of the exhaustive Conflicted Congress project, in which Insider reviewed nearly 9,000 financial-disclosure reports for every sitting lawmaker and their top-ranking staffers.

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