“Revolving door” lobbyists have helped defense contractors get off to “strong” start in 2023.

by Taylor Giorno, Open Secrets

The defense sector hired dozens of former armed services committee and Department of Defense personnel last year, with more swinging through the so-called “revolving door” to lobby on behalf of defense sector clients for the first time in the first quarter of 2023, a new OpenSecrets analysis of federal lobbying disclosures found.

At least 672 former government officials, military officers and members of Congress worked as lobbyists, board members or executives for the top 20 defense companies in 2022, according to a new report released by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) last Wednesday. Warren’s staff utilized OpenSecrets’ revolving door database as well as corporate websites, lobbying disclosures and U.S. Senate confirmation lists to identify these individuals.

Raytheon Technologies exhibitor pavilion at Dubai Airshow 2021 exhibiting the American aerospace and defense company's latest technological innovations.

“This practice is widespread in the defense industry, giving, at minimum, the appearance of corruption and favoritism, and potentially increasing the chance that DoD spending results in ineffective weapons and programs, bad deals, and waste of taxpayer dollars,” the report says.

From 2011 through 2022, more than three-quarters of defense sector lobbyists previously worked in the federal government. These lobbyists leveraged their relationships and expertise on a range of issues, including the annual defense spending bill, an OpenSecrets analysis of federal lobbying disclosures found.

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