Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Says “Outrageous” for Pentagon to Push for Weakening Regulations That Will Open Corporate Revolving Door
April 17, 2020
Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) issued the following statement in response to news that the Department of Defense is proposing to weaken the rules put in place three years ago to protect the American people from corporate corrupting influence at the Pentagon.
“It is outrageous the Pentagon is pushing Congressional leaders behind closed doors to reverse safeguards Congress put in place to prevent the revolving door of Department of Defense retirees taking lucrative jobs in the Defense industry as lobbyists. Instead of opening the door to more corporate profiteering on the taxpayers’ dime, we should be strengthening our laws to end corruption and slam the revolving door shut,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
Background: In response to news that the Pentagon was pushing Congressional leaders behind the scenes to loosen regulations allowing recently retired Department of Defense employees to be employed by the defense industry, the Project on Government Oversight along with 14 other good government and defense/foreign policy groups sent a letter to House and Senate Armed Services Committee leaders urging them to oppose the move and strengthen regulations on Pentagon lobbyists.
The letter outlines that the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018 included overdue reforms to expand the definitions of lobbying activities to include this behind-the-scenes work. Specifically, the NDAA adopted the definition of “lobbying activities” as used in the Lobbying Disclosure Act, which covers “lobbying contacts and efforts in support of such contacts, including preparation and planning activities, research and other background work that is intended, at the time it is performed, for use in contacts, and coordination with the lobbying activities of others.” The reform also set a two-year lobbying ban for Defense Department personnel O-9 or higher, or the civilian grade equivalent; and a one-year lobbying ban for grades O-7 or O-8, or the civilian grade equivalent. It also expanded the ban to include the entire department, not just the component where the official previously served. These measures were championed by the late U.S. Senator John McCain (AZ).
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is committed to ending counterproductive regime change wars, and she has been a leader in Congress advocating for peace. Last month, she voted to pass S.J.Res.68, a war powers resolution that demands the end of military action against Iran without Congressional authorization and reasserts the Constitutional authority of Congress to declare war. She also introduced and voted to pass H.Con.Res.83, and spoke on the House floor in favor of the House war powers resolution and against war with Iran.
Through her work on the House Armed Services Committee, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard successfully included a provision in the FY20 NDAA to prevent the President from going to war with Iran without Congressional authorization. This was included in the House-version of the NDAA but was stripped from the final version of the bill, which was one of the many reasons why she voted against final passage of the bill.
Last summer, she introduced H.Res.411, the “No More Presidential Wars” resolution which would make it an impeachable offense for a President to engage in war without Congressional authorization or continue a war that has not been authorized by Congress. She worked closely with the late former Rep. Walter Jones on this measure in the 115th Congress.
In November 2019, she led the charge in the House of Representatives to draw attention to and introduced war powers resolutions to halt President Trump’s use of U.S. armed forces to secure and defend Syrian oil fields.
She has called on the Administration to end its armed support of the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen’s Civil War, highlighted the catastrophic impact it has had on Yemen’s civilian population, and led bipartisan efforts to oppose U.S. involvement in the conflict.
She has introduced and called for support of H.R.1249, the INF Treaty Compliance Act, which would prevent the United States from sparking an arms race between the United States and Russia, and escalating the new Cold War. The legislation would prohibit the use of any taxpayer dollars for weapons that violate the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
About Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is serving her fourth term in the United States House representing Hawai‘i’s Second District, and serves on the House Armed Services and Financial Services Committees. She previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Homeland Security Committee. She was elected to the Honolulu City Council in 2010, and prior to that at age 21, was elected to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature in 2002, becoming the youngest person ever elected in the state. Tulsi Gabbard has served in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard for 16 years, is a veteran of two Middle East deployments, and continues to serve as a Major. Learn more about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard...
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