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Change Sought in Post-Service Job Limits

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Architect of the Capitol
Monday, April 22, 2019

The Association of the U.S. Army and four other groups are asking Congress to reconsider limitations made by a 2018 law in post-service employment of former senior uniformed and civilian leaders.

The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act extended the so-called cooling-off period for former high-ranking Defense Department personnel, broadening limitations on direct lobbying and conducting behind-the-scenes research, strategy and advice. 

AUSA, Aerospace Industries Association, Association of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps Association and Foundation, and National Defense Industrial Association have asked for a section of the law to be revised.

“In this era of great-power competition, Section 1045 is placing the United States at a disadvantage,” the groups say in a joint letter delivered to Congress on April 18. “Due to that provision, retiring senior general officers, admirals and senior DoD civilian leaders are not able to provide critical strategic advice and leadership to American companies on matters that involve the Defense Department for a period of two years, undermining a resource that collectively keeps the American defense industrial base at the forefront of capabilities.”

The associations are asking for a revision that imposes a one-year restriction on direct lobbying, instead of the two required by the 2018 law, and that removes a one-year restriction on internal activities such as strategy development and meeting planning. 

“These modifications to the NDAA would benefit national security and American industry—both traditional defense companies and non-traditional defense companies—while still providing sufficient protection by restricting direct lobbying for one year,” the letter says.  “Ultimately, the nation and its warfighters would be the beneficiaries.”