|Chart from Zero Hedge|
|The big kahuna: Republican John McCain received|
more defense lobby cash than any other senator who
cast a vote Wednesday on Syria: $176,300. He is one
of three committee Republicans to support President
Obama, saying it would be 'catastrophic' if Congress
doesn't go along
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.
The Democratic party holds 10 of the 18 seats on the powerful foreign relations committee. The 18th member, Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, voted 'present,' abstaining from a decision until, he said, he could examine more classified intelligence information and consult with experts.
Voting their consciences? GOP Sens. John Barasso of Wyoming (L) and Marco Rubio of Florida (R) voted against military action in Syria, despite collecting nearly $150,000 between them from the defense lobby
Among the biggest contributors to senators involved in yesterday's vote were Lockheed Martin, Boeing, United Technologies and Honeywell International, companies that make everything from stealth bombers to long-range missiles and aerial drones.
While members of Congress have complained that Pentagon budget cuts due to the 2013 budget sequester will hamper any military effort in the Middle East, those giant contractors will likely benefit from any military action.
A single Tomahawk cruise missile costs the government between $700,000 and $1.4 million, according to published estimates. And each unmanned Predator aerial drone sets the Defense Department back a whopping $4 million.
In 2012 A Pentagon spokesman told CNN that it costs another $815,000 per year to pay, deploy, feed, house, arm and maintain every soldier on the ground in Afghanistan.
Applying that math to the 75,000 troops the Pentagon has said it will need to secure Syrian chemical weapons sites, a two-month deployment at similar costs would cost $5.09 billion per month.
Secretary of State John Kerry told a House of Representatives committee on Wednesday that countries in the Arab world have offered to pay the cost of removing Assad from power in a full-blown military offensive, but the Obama administration has said its objectives would be limited to ensuring the Syrian government can no longer access or use chemical weapons.
WHO GOT THE DEFENSE DOLLARS, AND HOW THEY VOTED ON SYRIA
The Center for Responsive Politics tracks financial donations to political candidates from individuals, companies and political committees. Its data show that over a 5-year period, most of the $1,006,887 that flowed from the defense lobby to senators who weighed in on Wednesdays war powers resolution went to those who cast 'yes' votes.
On average, those 'yes' votes came after $72,850 in defense-contractor campaign dollars, while a 'no' vote followed just $39,270.
Here's how it stacked up.
$127,350 – Dick Durbin (D-IL)
$101,025 – Tim Kaine (D-VA)
$80,550 – Ben Cardin (D-MD)
$70,850 – Bob Corker (R-TN)
$60,000 – Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
$41,872 – Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
$26,900 – Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
$24,150 – Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
$19,500 – Chris Coons (D-DE)
$62,790 – Marco Rubio (R-FL)
$59,250 – Chris Murphy (D-CT)
$19,250 – Ron Johnson (R-WI)
$18,700 – Tom Udall (D-NM)
$17,900 – Rand Paul (R-KY)
$14,000 – Jim Risch (R-ID)