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Young Pulls $4 Million Earmark Request

Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.) has withdrawn a $4 million earmark request for a Florida defense contractor that was raided by federal agents on Wednesday.Young had requested $4 million for Conax Florida Corp. for a “belt tensioning— system. He has previously previously provided about $28 million in earmarks for the company, which makes a specialized flotation system for military pilots who eject into water.The St. Petersburg Times first reported that Young abandoned the earmark during Thursday’s markup of the Defense appropriations bill because of concerns about the federal investigation.Sources familiar with the case suggested that the Defense Department is investigating delivery of substandard products.Young’s spokesman Harry Glenn confirmed the Times report but said Young’s office has not been contacted by federal investigators and the former Appropriations Committee chairman is not considering giving back campaign contributions he received from Conax.Employees of Conax and its parent company Cobham have donated about $5,000 to Young since 2006, according to Federal Election Commission records.

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