WASHINGTON — Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Deputy Chair Rep. Katie Porter (CA-45), Whip Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-05), and House Peace and Security Caucus Chair Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13) called for the Department of Defense (DOD) to comply with transparency regulations and provide overdue key reporting to Congress.

In a letter sent this week, the members expressed concern over DOD’s failure to complete certain reports to the legislature, as required by law. Such reports are critical to Congressional oversight of the Pentagon, as well as to the welfare of servicemembers. The reports, all delinquent as of July 1, are critical to ensuring transparency of the use of taxpayer dollars by the agency. They included: an unclassified report on DOD greenhouse gas emissions; and unclassified study on extremist recruiting, predatory marketing, and other cyber exploitation targeting service members and their families; and an unclassified report on policies and procedures for DOD to obtain information about possible human rights violations from DOD contractors.

In the letter, the lawmakers wrote, “President Biden stated that ‘[t]he revitalization of our national security and foreign policy workforce requires a recommitment to the highest standards of transparency.’ At a minimum, this should include fulfilling statutory reporting requirements on time, with the content and level of classification proscribed by law. These reports are critical to the welfare of our service members and their families, to Congress’ ability to legislate effectively and to keeping the American people informed about their government...It is imperative that the Biden Administration make a clean break from what the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee called ‘the dismissive attitude toward oversight exhibited by the Department,’ under President Donald Trump.”

The members asked for a response by September 8 that details the status of the reports, if there is a legal basis for noncompliance with these reporting requirements, if there has or will be any disciplinary action for DOD personnel related to noncompliance with these reporting requirements, among other questions. They also request a briefing by DOD for the Caucus no later than September 1 on how the Pentagon will come into compliance with its reporting requirements.