Defense lobbying mostly flat in 2013

Lobbying spending remained mostly flat for the top defense contractors in 2013, as they grappled with sequestration taking effect at the Pentagon.

End-of-year disclosures show the biggest defense firms’ lobbying dipped slightly in 2013.

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Lockheed Martin spent $14.4 million on lobbying in 2013, $1.4 million less than 2012, while Boeing spent $15 million last year, a drop of $410,000.

Other major defense contractors boosted their spending slightly.

Raytheon spent $7.6 million in 2013, General Dynamics spent $11.1 million and United Technologies Corp. spent $13.6 million, increases of $170,000, $180,000 and $530,000, respectively.

BAE Systems Inc. also decreased its lobbying slightly in 2013, with a $250,000 dip to $4.3 million.

The defense industry had warned about the devastating effects of sequestration throughout 2012, as it lobbied for the cuts to be reversed. But when they went into effect in March — and the Pentagon had to cut $37 billion from its 2014 budget — defense contractors’ stock prices kept soaring anyway.

The Aerospace Industries Association, the trade association that led the fight against the sequester, cut its lobbying by more than 40 percent in the first nine months of 2013. The AIA had not yet filed its fourth quarter lobbying report, which is due Tuesday.

The year-over-year lobbying trends for the industry’s biggest contractors also played out in the fourth quarter, as Lockheed and Boeing lobbying dipped slightly, while the other four defense firms spent more.

The companies had plenty at stake in the final three months of the year: Congress passed the defense authorization bill and struck the budget deal that gave the Pentagon $31 billion in sequester relief.

Here are the fourth quarter defense lobbying numbers:

• United Technologies Corp.: $3.9 million

• Boeing: $3.7 million

• Lockheed Martin: $3.4 million

• General Dynamics: $3.3 million

• Raytheon: $2.3 million

• BAE Systems: $1.2 million