Issue One Executive Director Meredith McGehee released the following statement today after the Senate rejected the Pentagon’s proposal to weaken current lobbying restrictions on former Pentagon officials. The decision followed weeks of pressure from political reform organizations, including Issue One, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), and others.
“The Senate’s move to reject efforts to weaken current lobbying restrictions on former Pentagon officials is a relief. This proposal flouted the purpose of our ethics laws — to prevent undue influence, corruption, and the appearance of corruption. At a time of serious distrust in government institutions, these proposals had no business being put into the National Defense Authorization Act,” said Issue One McGehee.
She continued: “Issue One strongly believes that the existing lobbying restrictions on former senior officials must be strengthened, not weakened. Individuals with outsized influence should not be able to seek favored treatment based on their personal connections and the information they gained serving as public officials. This action in the Senate is a victory for all those who have pushed for stricter rules on influence peddling, especially the Project On Government Oversight, who has been leading the effort on this issue. We will continue to urge legislators across the political spectrum to strengthen these laws.”
In April, Issue One sent a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees opposing the Pentagon’s proposal to weaken post-employment lobbying restrictions on former senior Pentagon officials.