Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) criticized a proposed $10 billion NASA lunar landing contract that would likely go to Blue Origin, the aerospace company founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos, accusing Bezos and SpaceX founder Elon Musk of using NASA as “little more than an ATM machine” to fund their new space race.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) asked lawmakers April 27 to cut $10 billion in funding for a new NASA lunar landing contract that would likely go to Blue Origin, the aerospace company founded by billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Blue Origin spent almost $2 million on lobbying last year. The company has steadily increased its presence in Washington since 2013, with lobbying spending skyrocketing as Bezos and Musk vie for dominance in the space economy.
Blue Origin spent $560,000 on lobbying in the first quarter of 2022. Lobbying disclosures filed on April 20 show lobbyists homed in on “issues related to NASA” for several bills. Two lobbyists on the Blue Origin team are returning to the halls of Congress they once worked in.
Blue Origin’s Vice President of Government Affairs Megan Mitchell previously served as a fellow and senior adviser on space and aeronautic policy for Rep. Steve Palazzo (R-Miss.) from 2012 until she left to work for Blue Origin in 2015.