Washington Business Journal: Measure Would Bar Order for Contractors to Reveal Political Gifts
May 26, 2011 -
Measure Would Bar Order for Contractors to Reveal Political Gifts
A new bill in Congress aims to block the Obama administration's draft executive order that would require contractors to reveal political spending during the bidding process.
By Jill R. Aitoro, Washington Business Journal
On Thursday two House Republicans — Reps. Sam Graves of Missouri and Darrell Issa of California, chairmen of the Small Business Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, respectively — introduced the bill, which would prohibit federal agencies from collecting or using information relating to campaign contributions and other political expenditures in the federal procurement process. It would also prohibit databases designed to be used by contracting officers from including political information, beyond what is already deemed legal. The bill comes following a joint committee hearing earlier in May.
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., is expected to introduce a similar measure as an amendment to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. A letter from 71 business groups and trade associations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Aerospace Industries Association, was sent to members of the House of Representatives in support of the amendment.
"The amendment reaffirms the principle, currently embodied in federal procurement laws, that the Executive Branch has an obligation to procure goods and services based on the best value for the American taxpayer, and not on political considerations," the letter stated.
The measures are in response to the draft executive order from the White House that was released in April.
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