On Wednesday, the House voted 217 to 205 not to defund the controversial NSA surveillance programs. It turns out that the lawmakers who voted no on the Amash amendment, and wanted to keep the government program fully funded, received twice as much in campaign financing from the intelligence and defense industry as the 205 “yes” voters. An investigation performed at the request of WIRED found out on Friday that House members who voted to continue the phone-call-metadata program by the NSA received an average of 122 percent more money from defense contractors than those who voted to defund it.
Political action committees and employees from intelligence and defense firms, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, United Technologies, Honeywell International, and others, donated almost $13 million in donations during a single two-year period ending a few months ago. House members didn’t vote along party lines when they voted for the Amash amendment, but they did vote along donation lines. Representatives who voted to continue the NSA program averaged $41,635 in donations from the defense and intelligence firms while lawmakers who voted to dismantle the NSA spy program averaged $18,765 from those same firms.