Key Vote Letter Regarding Amendments to H.R. 2017, the "Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2012"
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly opposes any amendment that may be offered to H.R. 2017, the “Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2012,” that would presumably force federal agencies to require entities to disclose their political spending as a condition of participating in the federal procurement process. The Chamber also strongly supports an amendment that may be offered by Representative Cole in response to a draft Executive Order under consideration by the Obama Administration, and which would preclude the White House from forcing federal agencies to require entities to disclose their political spending as a condition of participating in the federal procurement process.
The Cole Amendment would help ensure that political spending—or the lack thereof—continues to play no role in federal contracting decisions. 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. It also reaffirms the principle that the Administration cannot enact through executive fiat legislation that Congress has considered and explicitly rejected.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region. The Chamber will consider including votes on, or in relation to, these amendments in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
R. Bruce Josten