It’s turning out to be a tough decade for defense lobbyists. Military spending peaked just as the decade was beginning. Then a resurgent GOP forced passage of the Budget Control Act capping discretionary spending (including defense) through 2021, and banned earmarks. Now, as a new Congress is seated, some additional trends are becoming clear. First, the percentage of federal legislators who are veterans is at the lowest point in six decades. Second, half of Congress is so recently elected it doesn’t remember what a normal legislative process looks like. Third, the Republican majority in Congress is no longer as reliably pro-defense as it used to be. Fourth, voters do not rate national security as a major concern facing the nation. Fifth, John McCain is taking over the Senate Armed Services Commttee determined to shake up the weapons-buying process. Bottom line: defense lobbyists are facing a winter of discontent. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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