The Center for Competitive Politics sent a letter to House leadership and other members of Congress in support of Representative Cole’s amendment regarding disclosure for government contractors. The amendment would prevent executive agencies from collecting information regarding the private donations of citizens and companies to trade associations and social welfare groups
This amendment is a direct response to President Obama’s recently released draft Executive Order. The order compels companies bidding on federal contracts to collect and submit with the proposal private information about donations by employees, executives, and board members.
“President Obama’s proposed Executive Order would not only inject a ready-made Nixonian type ‘enemies list’ into the federal acquisition process, but it is also an attempt to legislate by fiat,” said CCP President Sean Parnell. “We are thrilled that Representative Cole recognized and addressed this attempt by the President to circumvent the legislative process to further his own political ambitions when similar measures were rejected by Congress last year.”
The current draft Executive Order is derived from a controversial section DISCLOSE Act, which was voted down in Congress last year.
Passing Representative Cole’s amendment would not only ensure the integrity of the federal acquisition process, but it would also allow citizens working for government contractors to feel safe donating to causes that may not be in favor with the current administration.
“Regardless of what party is in power, all citizens, including those who work on federal contracts, should be able to make donations to the general operations of a non-political organization without fear of retribution,” said CCP Vice President of Policy Allison Hayward. “Representative Cole’s amendment protects government contract workers, who are Americans with First Amendment rights, from having another layer of privacy taken from them.”
Currently, political contributions and expenditures from contractors to candidates and parties are already disclosed to either the FEC or the IRS. All of this information is publically available and readily searchable.
“Enacting Amendment #142 to H.R. 1540 is an important step of protecting the privacy and First Amendment rights of the people who make what the federal government does possible,” said Parnell. “It is foolish to bring partisan politics into the federal contracting process in order to ensure that partisan politics does not influence the process.”