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.