Earlier today, Democrats leaked a $3 trillion deficit-reduction package to the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Dow Jones and Reuters but in each case, one major government expense was not mentioned: defense spending. The outline of the plan, independently reported by each outlet, calls for savings though "cuts to federal entitlement programs and Medicare coupled with at least $1 trillion in new taxes." It's not clear why the Pentagon, which is on the hook for a $600 billion haircut if a deal between Democrats and Republicans isn't reached, is left out of the Democratic proposal. (Thus far, reports say the bulk of the savings will come from about $400 billion in Medicare savings and revenues from tax increases.) What is clear, however, is the aggressiveness in which military contractors are lobbying members of the Super Committee. Last week, K Street firms filed lobbying reports for the third quarter requiring them to list details such as who they represent and if they're specifically lobbying the Super Committee or "Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction," as it's officially called. The filing doesn't breakdown lobbyists by industry but we found a number of corporations that have significant defense contracts among the list of registered lobbyist clients:
- Northrop Grumman Corporation: $50,000
- General Dynamics: $50,000
- ITT Corporation: $480,000
- Honeywell International: $10,000
- Associated General Contractors of America: $130,000
- Accenture: $40,000
- IBM: $1,090,000
- INTELSAT: $10,000
Now, it's highly unlikely that the Democrats would propose a deficit plan without any defense cuts. (The conventional wisdom in Washington is that defense cuts will be around $100 billion if a deal can be brokered.) But central to any rumored outlines has been at least a rough number of where defense cuts will come from. Today's plan gives us none. Liberals such as The Nation's George Zornick are already complaining that the Democrats' deal is a "major capitulation" that cuts too much from Medicare. But if defense cuts aren't a major factor in this $3 trillion grand bargain, that would likely produce leftward angst as well.
*Did we miss any defense contractors in our buletted list? View the entire list of registered third quarter lobbyists below, courtesy the Sunlight Foundation:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.