Norman Dicks (D-WA) has spent his entire career on Capitol Hill, having started out as a Senate staffer for Sen. Warren G. Magnuson, and since 1977, serving as a congressmen on the House Appropriations Committee. In March 2010, he was named the Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, replacing the late Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)….
• Mr. Dicks has a liberal Congressional voting record. He voted with a majority of his Democratic colleagues 99.3% of the time during the current Congress. This percentage does not include votes in which Dicks did not vote.
• The differences usually occur on defense spending and foreign policy issues, where he is often more hawkish than the party norm.
• On Council for a Livable World’s PeacePAC voting record, he scored:
50% in 2008
90% in 2007
41% in 2005-6
82% in 2003-4
44% in 2001-2
29% in 1999-2001
• While he has supported higher military spending, he has also been a supporter of nuclear arms control measures and is a long-time skeptic of national missile defense.
On Defense / Military Affairs
• Dicks was a key proponent for the ($2 billion per plane) B-2 bomber. He successfully ensured money was set aside for the B-2 in the 1995 defense appropriations bill.
• Dicks led select committee investigations into 1998 charges that China had been an illegal recipient of US satellite technology. His report found China to be guilty, with a subsequent report authored by him also alleging that China had stolen significant America nuclear secrets over a 20 year period.
• An early supporter of the Iraq War, by 2005 Dicks u-turned and claimed that he wouldn’t have supported the invasion had he not believed Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction.
• In 2003, Dicks was a supporter of the sharply increased $379 billion defense budget – nearly $50 billion higher than that of 2002. Despite the large increase, Dicks asserted that yet more money was needed urgently to modernize US military hardware.
• Dicks was one of the most vocal critics of the U.S Air Force’s 2008 decision to purchase in-air refueling tankers produced by Northrop Grumman and EADS. He was, and remains, a strong supporter of Boeing’s alternative model. Boeing has a huge presence in Dick’s district. After EADS won the contract, Dicks supported Boeing’s protest with the Government Accountability Office, which cited serious flaws in the acquisition process and called for a reversal of the decision. As of March 2010, the deal remains unsettled.
• Dicks is a strong supporter of funding for Boeing’s C-17 cargo aircraft produced by Boeing.
• Dicks is also a congressional supporter for Boeing’s Airborne Laser Missile Defense program. He signed a letter to Defense Secretary Gates in 2009 requesting a commitment to the program. Congress appropriated roughly $400 million for the program in FY 2009. Norman Dick’s support for Boeing related projects has not historically been as cast-iron as one might think. He was neither supportive for the Army’s former ‘Future Combat Systems’ program or for ground-based missile defense. Of the latter, he claimed that ‘the program has not yet met the criteria that Congress and the Administration established to demonstrate the technical capability of a system to defend the U.S. against incoming long-range ballistic missiles.”
• In terms of industries, lobbyists have been Dick’s largest contributors. Lawyers, defense aerospace, and defense electronics have ranked his second to fifth biggest financial donors.
• Defense contractors Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, SAIC Inc., Raytheon, and BAE Systems all are among his top defense contributors.