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Study finds lawmakers invested $165m in defense

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Associated Press / April 4, 2008

WASHINGTON - Members of Congress have as much as $196 million collectively invested in companies that do business with the Defense Department, earning millions since the onset of the Iraq war, according to a study by a nonpartisan research group.

The review of lawmakers' 2006 financial disclosure statements, by the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics, suggests that members' holdings could pose a conflict of interest as they decide the fate of Iraq war spending.

Several members earning money from these contractors have plum committee or leadership assignments, including Senator John F. Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, and the House minority whip Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri.

The study found that more Republicans than Democrats hold stock in defense companies, but that the Democrats who are invested had significantly more money at stake.

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