The Pentagon’s request to weaken post-government lobbying restrictions on former senior officials undermines the ethics to prevent undue influence, and WAND strongly encourages the Senate Armed Services Committee to reject this proposal. It is highly suspect that this request is given in good faith, given the number of former industry officials and lobbyists in leadership. Rather, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2021 should strengthen the ethics and laws to prohibit greater influence of the lobbying industry and contractors on the Department of Defense. Reform should ensure competition instead of enabling the federal revolving door between the lobbying industry and senior officials. It is important that the actions and policies of the Pentagon is not unduly influenced by self-serving financial interests. Therefore, WAND urges Congress to strengthen ethics laws and transparency mechanisms on lobbying activities in the Pentagon in order to prevent influence-peddling within the Defense Department.
Read the full letter here.