July 23, 2021

Warren Statement on Armed Services Committee's Bipartisan Adoption of Her DoD Ethics Amendment

Washington, DC - After the Senate Armed Services Committee’s mark-up of the FY 2022 defense budget concluded, United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released the following statement on the Committee’s bipartisan adoption of her amendment to raise the recusal standard for Department of Defense employees. Under her amendment, Pentagon officials will be prohibited from participating in matters that affect the financial interests of their former employer, former clients, or former direct competitors for four years.

“I was glad to see a bipartisan group of my Senate Armed Services Committee colleagues approve my plan to toughen up ethics standards at the Pentagon. In the future, when defense officials want to spin through the revolving door between industry and government, they'll be banned from working on issues pertaining to their former employer, clients, or competitors for four years instead of two. That’s a start, and I will be fighting until all of the stronger ethics standards in my Department of Defense Ethics and Anti-Corruption Act are made into law.”

Senator Warren has been pushing for a number of legislative changes to strengthen ethics at the DoD. In January 2021, during his SASC confirmation hearing and in response to Senator Warren’s questions, Secretary Lloyn Austin committed to extend his recusal from Raytheon Technologies for four years. DoD nominees Frank Kendall and Heidi Shyu (now confirmed) have also committed to four-year recusals.

Senator Warren’s recently reintroduced Department of Defense Ethics and Anti-Corruption Act (S. 2396 in this Congress) is consistent with her sweeping Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act (S. 5070 in the last Congress), the most ambitious anti-corruption legislation since Watergate.