(Bloomberg) -- Senator Elizabeth Warren is pressing the Pentagon’s top acquisition official to give data to back up his promise to consider defense-industry requests to adjust some already signed contracts for inflation.

Companies that ask for revisions to fixed-price contracts “must meet stringent criteria” and provide pricing data that justifies the change, Warren wrote Pentagon Acquisition and Sustainment Undersecretary William LaPlante on Wednesday.

Warren asked for clarification regarding guidance LaPlante issued last month that said the Defense Department would consider industry requests to increase the value of some contracts. Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, said she’s concerned there aren’t “sufficient safeguards in place to prevent industry profiteering.”

‘Corporate Welfare’

“DoD contractors -- like all contractors -- agreed to provide goods and services to DoD for the contractual rate,” Warren wrote. “These are private sector entities that competed for and voluntarily chose to engage in these agreements -- and they should not be bailed out with corporate welfare simply because their profits are lower than anticipated.”

Warren is a Senate Armed Services Committee member who routinely --and often alone -- raises pointed questions about Pentagon purchasing practices and the potential conflicts of interest of nominees with contractor ties.  

LaPlante spokesperson Jessica Maxwell said in a statement that “as with all congressional correspondence, we will respond directly to the author of the letter.”

Warren urged LaPlante “to be circumspect about the industry’s claims about the impact of inflation, given their second quarter profits, which show operating incomes that increased over the last quarter and average 11.7%, suggesting there was little or no adverse impact due to inflation.”

Stock Buybacks

Warren pointed out that several top defense contractors said in recent earnings calls that they plan to buy back stocks or pay billions of dollars in dividends. 

She warned LaPlante against providing “massive, unjustified taxpayer bailouts to giant defense contractors with little justification or rationale.”

Warren asked LaPlante to provide data and analysis that the Pentagon received from the National Defense Industrial Association, Aerospace Industries Association, and the Professional Services Council, all trade organizations, “to support increasing contract prices due to inflation.”

Revolving-Door Allegation

In a separate letter Tuesday, Warren alluded to the revolving door between the Pentagon and industry. She alleged that the National Defense Industrial Association’s president, David Norquist, violated post-government ethics restrictions after serving as the Defense Department’s comptroller and deputy defense secretary under President Donald Trump. 

Warren said Norquist and John Whitley, a former acting Army secretary and acting deputy chief management officer at the Pentagon, violated a ban on lobbying or attempting to influence the department for two years after leaving government service. 

The allegations concern a white paper that NDIA, a trade organization for defense contractors, published on “How Inflation Hurts America’s National Defense – And What We Can Do About It” that called for an increase in the defense budget. “NDIA is clearly trading on the white paper authors’ previous DoD service,” Warren said. Norquist and Whitley worked on the paper.

Norquist and Whitley are in full compliance with post-government employment restrictions, Scott Rekdal, an NDIA spokesman, said in a statement.

 Those restrictions govern interactions with the Defense Department, and neither Norquist nor Whitley attended a meeting at the Pentagon to preview the white paper, he said. The paper was developed by a bipartisan team of experienced former Defense Department officials “to inform Congress of the potential destructive impact inflation is having on our national security,”Rekdal said.

(Updates starting in 12th paragraph with Warren alleging lobbying violations)

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