Wednesday’s 10-7 vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee supporting an authorization of military attacks on Syria may have been affected by varying levels of financial support the senators got from political action committees representing the defense industry, and from the companies’ employees.
On average, a ‘yes’-voting senator received 83 per cent more money from defense contractors than one who voted ‘no.’
The resolution in its current form would endorse Obama administration-led strikes against Syria for up to 90 days, following revelations that the regime of dictator Bashar al-Assad used a nerve gas weapon against civilians as part of a brutal civil war.
The resolution would not authorize the deployment of ground forces, but MailOnline reported Wednesday that the Pentagon has already estimated the need for 75,000 troops to secure Syria’s vast supplies of chemical weapons and the factories that produce them.
Committee members who voted Wednesday to support the proposal collected an average of $72,850 in defense campaign financing between 2007 and 2012, Wired magazine reported, based on data collected by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Those who dissented in the committee vote averaged $39,770. The Center’s data include more than $1 million in political donations to the 17 senators who cast up-or-down votes on the measure.
The phenomenon crossed party lines. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, one of three Republicans to vote in the affirmative, collected the largest amount – $176,300 – for his campaigns. The next largest numbers belonged to Democrats, including $127,350 given to Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and $101,025 given to Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.
All three voted yes.