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Defense contractors step up lobbying to stave off budget cuts

The top five U.S. defense contractors increased lobbying spending by a combined 11.5 percent in the first quarter of 2012, compared to a year ago, according to a review of lobbying disclosure forms by
Defense News.

Anxiety over potential Pentagon budget cuts has prompted the flurry of lobbying. If Congress fails to reach a compromise on the federal budget, defense reductions amounting to $55 billion a year through 2021 will kick in, starting in January.

Lobbying investments for Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman totaled $15.9 million for the quarter ended March 31, according to the report. The figure was a new combined high for the four years that all five companies have been filing disclosures, according to the report. 

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