Jul 25, 2019 - Politics & Policy

GOP congressmen pressure Trump to delay $10 billion defense contract

Matt Gaetz

Rep. Matt Gaetz. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

A dozen Republican members of Congress sent President Trump a previously undisclosed letter on Tuesday urging him to delay the Pentagon's plan to award a $10 billion cloud computing contract to a single company.

Why it matters: The letter, obtained by Axios, argues that awarding the contract would be "premature" given the Defense Department's Office of Inspector General is still investigating potential conflicts of interest with those involved in the negotiations. The letter strikes a contrast with a ruling from a federal judge earlier this month, which found that allegations that DOD employees unfairly favored Amazon Web Services for its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud computing program were meritless.

  • It's also at odds with a letter from 4 GOP members of the House Armed Services Committee last week, which urged Trump to let the contract move forward.

Context: Last week, Trump told reporters he would ask the Pentagon to look "very closely" at the contract, adding that he was getting "tremendous complaints" about it.

  • His comments followed a series of letters from prominent congressmen, including Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), pressuring the administration to rethink the contract.
  • Several military and civilian IT executives from DOD and throughout government have also released a report criticizing the JEDI proposal.

Read the letter:

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