Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Phone: (202) 588-1000

Press Release

Report: Military-Industrial Complex Campaign Checks Help Explain Bloated Pentagon Budget

WASHINGTON -

The military-industrial complex contributed a combined $10.2 million in the 2022 cycle to lawmakers who voted to lavish the military with tens of billions more than either the Pentagon or the White House requested, according to a new Public Citizen report based on campaign finance data collected by OpenSecrets.org.

The report helps explain lawmaker’s eagerness to waste tens of billions more in taxpayer funds on the already bloated military budget. In June, the U.S. House Armed Services Committee voted to increase the Pentagon budget by $37.5 billion over the $813 billion the White House requested, and the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee voted to increase the Pentagon budget by $45 billion.

If the final FY 2023 budget ultimately reaches the amount approved by the Senate committee, defense contractors will have clinched a nearly 450,000% return on their $10 million investment in 2022 campaign and PAC contributions.

Senate committee members who voted to increase the defense budget and received the most from the defense sector over the past six years are:

  • Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member and recipient of $874,876,
  • Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), committee chair and recipient of $822,757, and
  • Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and recipient of $616,152.

House committee members who voted to increase the defense budget and received the most from the defense sector over the past two years include:

  • Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), ranking member and recipient of $404,525,
  • Rob Wittman (R-Va.), vice ranking member and recipient of $237,799, and
  • Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), recipient of $150,950

“The military-industrial complex’s campaign spending spree gives war profiteers an outsized influence over Pentagon funding votes,” said Savannah Wooten, People Over Pentagon campaign coordinator for Public Citizen and one of the authors of the report. “It creates a self-fulfilling annual cycle where money from the industry begets money for the industry. Instead of working overtime to secure defense contractor profits, Congress should prioritize the true, urgent human needs of everyday people.”

###

Public Citizen is a nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that champions the public interest in the halls of power. We defend democracy, resist corporate power and work to ensure that government works for the people – not for big corporations. Founded in 1971, we now have 500,000 members and supporters throughout the country.

$158,000 Cost for ALS Treatment Called 'A Poster Child' for Unjust Drug Pricing

"The price of the newly approved drug combination Relyvrio to treat ALS," said one critic, "is yet another clear and powerful example of unjustified high prices set by drug companies that ultimately exploit patients."

Jake Johnson ·


Biden Takes 'Important First Step' With AI Bill of Rights Blueprint

While many experts welcomed the White House proposal to ensure automated systems don't erode civil liberties, others lamented the voluntary nature of what one tech writer called the "toothless" plan.

Brett Wilkins ·


Kenyan President Says 'Wind and Solar Energy Can Power the Development of Africa'

"Rather than trudging in the fossil fuel footsteps of those who went before, we can leapfrog this dirty energy and embrace the benefits of clean power," argues William Ruto.

Kenny Stancil ·


The Onion Files 'Masterfully Written' Amicus Brief in Support of Jailed Parodist

"As the globe's premier parodists, The Onion's writers also have a self-serving interest in preventing political authorities from imprisoning humorists."

Brett Wilkins ·


Jayapal Accuses Democratic Leaders of Botching Stock Trading Ban

"This should have been a no-brainer," said the Washington Democrat.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo