Companies facing antitrust scrutiny funneled big money to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen before her aides tried to defund regulators’ budget.

By Freddy Brewster, The Lever

Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s aides quietly drafted legislation that would gut federal antitrust enforcers’ budget — a move that could benefit some of the lawmaker’s major finance, weapons, and health care industry donors whose industries are facing the prospect of tougher scrutiny from those antitrust regulators.

Jeanne Shaheen

Some of those donors’ companies have been actively lobbying Congress on antitrust issues in the lead-up to Shaheen’s proposed cut, according to federal disclosures reviewed by The Lever.

Shaheen aides slipped the budget-cutting provision into a must-pass 1,050-page bill to keep the government open. The language would strip the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division of nearly $50 million, or roughly 18 percent of its resources.

The proposed cut comes out of a Shaheen-chaired Senate appropriations subcommittee, which issued a summary of the bill that failed to mention the controversial provision.

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