Congress Invested To The Hilt In Killing People
- View SourceCongress Invested To The HiltIn Killing PeopleInternational Herald TribuneNew study shows US lawmakers have as much as $196 million invested in defense companiesThe Associated PressApril 3, 2008
The review of lawmakers' 2006 financial disclosure statements, by the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics, suggests that members' holdings could pose a conflict of interest as they decide the fate of Iraq war spending. Several members who earned the most from defense contractors have plum committee or leadership assignments, including Democratic Sen. John Kerry, independent Sen. Joseph Lieberman and House Republican Whip Roy Blunt.
The study found that more Republicans than Democrats hold stock in defense companies, but that the Democrats who are invested had significantly more money at stake. In 2006, for example, Democrats held at least $3.7 million (€2.3 million) in military-related investments, compared to Republican investments of $577,500 (€372,000).
Overall, 151 members hold investments worth $78.7 million (€50.6 million) to $195.5 million (€125.9 million) in companies that receive defense contracts that are worth at least $5 million (€3.2 million). These investments earned them anywhere between $15.8 million (€10.1 million) and $62 million (€39.9 million) between 2004 and 2006, the center concludes.
It is unclear how many members still hold these investments and exactly how much money has been made. Disclosure reports for 2007 are not due until this May. Also, members are required to report only a general range of their holdings.