EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Ernst Introduces Bill To Try To Prevent Chinese, Russian Influence In National Security Contracting

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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Republican Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst introduced legislation Friday that would prevent the Department of Defense (DOD) from contracting with consulting firms that simultaneously advise the United States and countries of concern, such as Russia and China.

The Daily Caller first obtained a copy of the legislation, entitled the Combating Obstructive National Security Underreporting of Legitimate Threats (CONSULT) Act of 2023. The bill would specifically prohibit the DOD from awarding contracts related to national security industries to consulting firms that work with sanctioned and adversarial entities.

The legislation also would impose disclosure requirements on those bidding on contracts for consulting services, and provide an enforcement mechanism for the DOD to terminate applicable contracts that are not disclosed.

The international consulting firm McKinsey & Company has been awarded federal government consulting contracts while working for the Chinese and Russian governments.

“The United States is playing a dangerous game. While our adversaries are aggressively working against our national security interests, government contractors closely tied to China and Russia are allowed to advise our military and Pentagon officials,” Ernst, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told the Caller before introducing the bill. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Joni Ernst To Introduce Legislation To Finish Building Border Wall Ahead Of Title 42 Ending)


(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers

“This is a clear conflict of interest,” Ernst added. “It’s past time we put safeguards in place to ensure no firms hired by the federal government are working simultaneously to support the agenda of our adversaries.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Joni Ernst Calls For Investigations Into ATF Bureaucrats Posing As Law Enforcement, Wasting Millions)

Democratic Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly and Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan cosponsored the legislation.