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.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.