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Cami Mondeaux, Congressional Reporter


NextImg:Bipartisan lawmakers criticize DOD over failure to comply with information requests


Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are banding together to urge the Department of Defense to comply with congressional requests for information, with Sens. Rick Scott (R-FL) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) leading the charge.

The pair wrote a letter to Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel Gilbert Cisneros on Thursday, pressing the defense official to follow up with several information requests by Congress members on the Senate Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee. The letter reiterates concerns from lawmakers that were expressed during a recent subcommittee hearing in which senators lamented a lack of cooperation from the DOD.

GOP SENATOR SLAMS DOD FOR ‘PRIORITIZING’ DIVERSITY INITIATIVES OVER MILITARY INVESTMENTS

“We want to remind you of the several requests for information, reports, and responses to previous letters requesting information that Senators have yet to receive and that they raised with you and your colleagues during the hearing,” the lawmakers wrote. “Congressional requests for information are not only owed to us due to our constitutional oversight responsibilities, but they are also an important means by which our two branches of government can cooperate for the sake of better policy on behalf of taxpayers.”

Scott and Warren outlined a number of requests made by both Republican and Democratic senators over the last three months that have been ignored by the DOD.

In one case, Sen. Ted Budd (R-NC) requested information from Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin regarding his reproductive healthcare directives in the military. That request was sent on March 15 and has not been fulfilled.

Sens. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) wrote a joint letter requesting information from the DOD on the Brandon Act, a bill seeking to protect service members seeking help related to mental health emergencies. That request was due to the committee on March 1 but was never submitted.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Several of the outstanding requests from lawmakers have been issued multiple times, according to the lawmakers, prompting concerns of a lack of compliance by the department.

The letter pressed the DOD to fulfill the requests “as soon as possible,” but the lawmakers did not threaten any action if defense officials do not comply.