House Passes Two Amendments Offered by Schakowsky to Defense Authorization Bill

July 21, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House passed two amendments offered by Representative Schakowsky to be included in H.R.6395, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.

“I am pleased that the House voted to include two of my amendments in the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act that will increase oversight of the Department of Defense (DOD) and its contractors.

“My first amendment will strengthen ethics enforcement and provide Congress and the American people more transparency regarding the revolving door between the Pentagon and big defense contractors. We should know if former DoD employees are playing by the rules put in place to reduce conflicts of interest, especially given the volume of employees who go on to work for defense contractors. The Government Accountability Office found 52 contractors employed 2,435 former Department of Defense (DoD) senior and acquisition officials who had ‘previously served as generals, admirals, senior executives, program managers, contracting officers, or in other acquisition positions which made them subject to restrictions on their post-DOD employment.’ My amendment requires contractors to (1) submit detailed annual reports to the Department of Defense regarding former senior DOD officials who are subsequently employed by contractors, (2) certify that those employees are in compliance with post-government ethics rules, and (3) make these reports and certifications public.

“My second amendment will provide Congress and the American people transparency regarding the Pentagon’s use of private security contractors, or PSCs. Right now, Congress and the Defense Department do not know the full scope, cost, and effectiveness of PSCs, and we have almost no oversight of their actions when operating abroad. My amendment requires the Defense Department’s Inspector General to report to Congress: (1) the number of private security contractors accompanying U.S. forces in areas of contingency operations; (2) the total costs of these contracts; (3) the number of contractors wounded or killed; and (4) any disciplinary actions that have been taken against contractors. Obtaining this information is critical to our Government’s ability to make the best decisions for our military and our country.

“I will fight to ensure that these important oversight measures remain in the bill as it moves forward.”