Member Advisory: June 9, 2011
Thursday, June 09, 2011
Posted by: Matt Gruhn
MRAA JOINS BUSINESS COALITION TO KEEP
POLITICS OUT OF FEDERAL CONTRACT AND
MRAA is an
active member of a coalition of 156 organizations spearheaded by the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce that is urging Congress to pass the "Keep Politics Out of
the Federal Contracting Act of 2011.”
Several letters have already been sent to both the Senate and the House
of Representatives where in the House Rep. Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma)has been
successful in getting the bill attached to two important bills, the Department
of Homeland Security Appropriations Act and the massive $690 billion National
Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 1540).
The Cole Amendment would ensure that "None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to implement
any rule, regulation, or executive order regarding the disclosure of political
contributions that takes effect on or after the date of enactment of this Act.”
In addition, a group of Republican
senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) announced they
were supporting legislation in the Senate to block the Obama Executive Order.
Senate Republicans have not said, though, if they would try to follow up on the
amendment offered by Rep. Cole, which had the support of all Republicans but
one and 26 Democrats.
MRAA has singed remind Congress that the federal acquisition process has worked
well free of political influence.
Congressional actions are in response to a draft Presidential Executive Order
under consideration that would force companies and non-profit organizations
vying for federal contracts and grants to reveal employee donations and
membership payments to advocacy groups and trade associations, like MRAA, that
is engage in even a small amount of political speech.. Contributions to political candidates,
parties, and PACs are already disclosed as part of the federal law governing
federal elections. The draft order is
meant to target organizations that are not political organizations but may
engage in some political speech as part of their broader mission.
Executive Order strikes at the heart of representative government and freedom
under the First Amendment. Much of the
information on campaign contributions is already public and reported to the Federal
Election Commission,” said Phil Keeter, MRAA President. "MRAA will continue to support efforts to
block the contractor disclosure order and to stop efforts to politicize the
federal procurement process,” he added.
by Larry Innis, Director of Government Affairs