(TPM) — Republicans are working on multiple fronts to stop President Barack Obama from making companies bidding on federal contracts disclose their donations to third-party political groups.
The chairmen of the House Oversight Committee and the Small Business Committee have introduced legislation that would ban the federal government from collecting or using information about the political expenditures of federal contractors, allowing them to keep their political donations to third party groups secret. Yesterday, the House passed an amendment to the 2012 defense bill which would prevent federal agencies from collecting such data.
Introduced by Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Tom Cole (R-OK) in response to a leaked draft of an executive order the Obama administration was considering which would have mandated federal contractors disclose their donations to third-party groups, the legislation is titled the “Keeping Politics Out of Federal Contracting Act of 2011.”
A companion bill is being introduced in the Senate by Susan Collins (R-ME), Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Rob Portman (R-OH).
Center for Competitive Politics President Sean Parnell called Cole’s amendment to the defense bill a “strong rebuke to the executive branch’s effort to bring politics into the federal contracting process and enable the creation of a Nixon-style Enemies List.”
Issa said the legislation “preempts an executive order designed to silence and intimidate job creators and Americans who are passionate enough to a support cause.”