Like many federal contractors, General Electric has a lot riding on the work of a new congressional “supercommittee,” which will help decide whether to impose massive cuts in defense and health-care spending.

But the Connecticut-based conglomerate also has a potential advantage: A number of its lobbyists used to work for members of the committee, and will be able to lobby their former employers to limit the impact of any reductions in the weeks ahead.

GE is hardly alone: Nearly 100 registered lobbyists used to work for members of the supercommittee, now representing defense companies, health-care conglomerates, Wall Street banks and others with a vested interest in the panel’s outcome, according to a Washington Post analysis of disclosure data. Three Democrats and three Republicans on the panel also employ former industry lobbyists on their staffs.

The preponderance of lobbyists adds to the political controversy surrounding the supercommittee, which will begin its work in earnest this week. The panel has already come under fire from watchdog groups for planning its activities in secret and allowing members to continue fundraising while they negotiate a budget deal.

“When the committee sits down to do its work, it’s not like they’re in an ideal-ized, platonic debating committee,” said Bill Allison of the Sunlight Foundation, which is tracking ties between lobbyists and the panel. “They’re going to have in mind the interests of those they are most familiar with, including their big donors and former advisers.”

The 12-member panel is tasked with identifying $1.5 trillion in long-term spending reductions by Thanksgiving, with a final plan to be approved by Congress. If no deal is reached, however, $1.2 trillion in across-the-board cuts will be triggered beginning in 2013, with the amount evenly divided between defense and non-defense programs.

The sheer scale of the trigger plan has set off something close to panic on K Street, as many of the nation’s largest industries face reductions in potential revenue from federal programs.

Defense contractors, for instance, are eager to push the panel toward a new agreement that reduces the scale of cuts to the Pentagon. The health-care sector, meanwhile, has a multitude of worries, from potential reductions in hospital payments to proposals to limit drug prices under Medicare.

“Everybody in the Western world will be trying to influence the supercommittee at the same time,” said Loren Thompson, a Lexington Institute defense industry consultant.

The stakes are particularly enormous for a diversified company such as GE, which has been awarded nearly $32 billion in federal contracts over the past decade, much of that to its defense and health-care subsidiaries, according to government tallies. GE chief executive Jeffrey Immelt also heads President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

At least eight current GE lobbyists used to work for members of the supercommittee, including the firm’s chief lobbyist on Capitol Hill, according to the Post analysis, which drew on data from the Center for Responsive Politics, lobbying disclosure forms and other public records.

GE officials declined repeated requests for comment over the past two weeks. A spokesman said late Monday that the company is “not lobbying the supercommittee on any of its work.”

One GE lobbyist is Arshi Siddiqui, a former counsel to Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., a member of the committee. Siddiqui, of Akin Gump, said that her time in Becerra’s office will have no bearing on the outcome of the debt-reduction talks.

“Everything will be on the table and everything will be litigated openly in this process,” Siddiqui said in an interview.

Becerra said in a statement that neither his former employees nor their clients will get special treatment.

“Each member privileged to serve on this joint select committee must be prepared to check their preconditions, special-interest pledges and sacred cows at the door,” Becerra said.

Overall, two-thirds of the lobbyists with committee ties are Democrats, including about two dozen former aides to Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the powerful Senate Finance Committee chairman, records show.

About two dozen lobbyists contacted for this article either declined to comment or did not respond to interview requests. Baucus’ office said in a statement: “Money has never influenced the decisions Max makes, and he’ll continue to do what’s right for working Montana families, regardless of outside interests.”

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., co-chairman of the supercommittee, has employed more than 12 currently registered lobbyists, records show. Her counterpart, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Tex., employs a former lobbyist as a senior adviser but has only two former employees now on K Street, data show.

Murray is known for her defense of industries important to the Pacific Northwest, including computer software firms and defense contractors. At least two former Murray staffers now represent aircraft giant Boeing.

Murray’s office said her former employees’ lobbying efforts will have no impact on her decisions.

“Sen. Murray will be listening to the needs of everyday families, not lobbyists, as she weighs the tough decisions this committee is faced with,” communications chief Matt McAlvanah said.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., has more than a dozen former staffers who now work as Washington lobbyists. Spokeswoman Jodi Seth said, “His record across the board makes it clear his decisions are based on the interests of Massachusetts and his own clearly established worldview.”

Another supercommittee member, Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., has at least 10 former aides who now work as lobbyists. Aides to Kyl, who is not running for re-election in 2012, did not respond to requests for comment.

One of Washington’s most influential lobbying groups, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, employs lobbyists who previously worked for Murray, Baucus, Kerry and Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich. One top aide to Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., also used to represent PhRMA as a lobbyist.

The drugmaker group says it will lobby against a Democratic proposal to require rebates for prescription drugs provided to low-income seniors through Medicare, a move estimated to save $112 billion over 10 years while also reducing costs to patients.

But PhRMA says the idea amounts to price-fixing and would hurt the Medicare prescription drug benefit, a program approved during the George W. Bush administration.