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#2 House Dem Also Opposes WH Exec. Order That Could Inject Politics Into Gov’t Contracting

May 11th, 2011 by MarkTwain · No Comments

Multiple press accounts yesterday reported that House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the 2nd-ranking Democrat in the House, signaled his opposition to a proposed executive order from President Obama that would require federal contractors to disclose their political donations prior to being chosen for a contract.

The AP wrote, “The second-ranking House Democrat said Tuesday he opposes a White House proposal to require anyone seeking government contracts to disclose political contributions. Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the party whip, placed himself on the same side as Republicans and the business community — and against liberal groups demanding more disclosure. Hoyer told reporters that contractors should be chosen on the merits of their applications, their bids and their capabilities, not on their political donations.”

And The Hill reported, “A White House plan to require federal contractors to disclose political contributions could politicize the bidding process and undermine its effectiveness, the second-ranking House Democrat warned Tuesday. Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said government contracts should be awarded based solely on the reputation of the company and the substance of its bid. The issue of political contributions, he said, has no place in the mix. ‘The issue of contracting ought to be on the merits of the contractor’s application and bid and capabilities,’ Hoyer told reporters at the Capitol. ‘There are some serious questions as to what implications there are if somehow we consider political contributions in the context of awarding contracts.’ He added, ‘I’m not in agreement with the administration on that issue.’”

The Washington Post’s 2chambers blog added, “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said later Tuesday that he welcomed Hoyer’s response to the issue. ‘I’m glad to see that somebody on the other side is standing up to this blatant attempt to intimidate people into either not contributing to causes the administration opposes,’ he said, ‘or, to the contrary, basically, as Senator [Susan] Collins [R-Maine] has pointed out on several occasions, basically repealing the Hatch Act by putting politics back into the procurement process — a truly outrageous suggestion, which the White House still has an opportunity to not go forward with.’”

Leader McConnell raised the alarm about how this executive order could result in contractors being punished or rewarded based on their political contributions when former FEC Commissioner Hans von Spakovsky first uncovered the proposal a few weeks ago.

Related:

Rasmussen Reports: Generic Presidential Ballot: Obama 45%, Generic Republican 43%

 

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