Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Felds John Simmons said he is focusing his attention on the fund for clients such as Syracuse, N.Y.-based Defenshield Inc. Defenshield makes mobile safety shields that protect military and police personnel from incoming fire. Simmons brought a funding request to New York lawmakers, but the entire delegation opted against making earmark requests for private companies.
Its one of these small procurement items that doesnt get a lot of visibility, and its always helpful when Congress can prime that pump, Simmons said. They all had to turn us down, although it is a small veteran-owned business, because it is a for-profit.
Lobbyists said they are also continuing to try to get a handle on whether clients will be able to compete for the funding. One appropriations lobbyist said theres a new concern that has come out of the fund whether companies will meet the small-business parameters to compete for DOD earmarks.
The worries have shifted to whether they fit [to compete] for this pot of money, the lobbyist said.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.