SUPPORT GROWS FOR SENATOR COLLINS' BILL TO KEEP POLITICS OUT OF FEDERAL CONTRACTING

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a letter to Members of Congress, more than 150 trade associations, businesses, and local chambers of commerce endorsed Senator Susan Collins' (R-ME) legislation to prohibit federal agencies from collecting or using information about political contributions made by small, family-owned businesses or larger companies that wish to do business with the federal government. The "Keeping Politics Out of Federal Contracting Act of 2011" reaffirms the fundamental principle that federal contracts should be awarded free from political considerations and be based on the best value to the taxpayers.

Senator Collins is the Ranking Republican on the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs which oversees federal contracting.

On the House side, Representatives Darrell Issa (R-CA), Tom Cole (R-OK), and Sam Graves (R-MO) introduced an identical measure.

The letter -- from the large and diverse group partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- read in part, "the legislation would help ensure that political spending-or the lack thereof-continues to play no role in federal contracting decisions. The legislation 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."

On April 26, Senator Collins and 26 colleagues sent a letter to the White House critical of the policy that would require information about political contributions to be a part of every federal contract offer. The letter emphasizes that taxpayers should receive the best value for federal contracts, and thus government procurements must be conducted in a manner that ensures a fair process, free from politics. The Senators have not received a response to the letter.

In addition to Senator Collins, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Rules Committee Ranking Member Lamar Alexander, and Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight Ranking Member Rob Portman, other cosponsors of the "Keeping Politics Out of Federal Contracting Act" include: Republican Whip Jon Kyl, Senators Scott Brown, Ron Johnson, Jerry Moran, Orrin Hatch, Chuck Grassley, Mike Enzi, John Cornyn, Richard Burr, Johnny Isakson, David Vitter, John Thune, John Barrasso, Roger Wicker, Mike Johanns, Dan Coats, and Kelly Ayotte.

The text of the bill is linked here.

The complete text of the letter of support and list of signatories is below.


June 6, 2011

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS:

The undersigned organizations strongly support the "Keeping Politics Out of Federal Contracting Act of 2011," which is sponsored by Sen. Collins in the Senate and Rep. Issa in the House, and urge you to cosponsor this important legislation. "Keeping Politics Out of Federal Contracting Act of 2011," offered in response to a draft
Executive Order under consideration by the Obama Administration, would preclude the White House from forcing federal agencies to require entities to disclose their political spending-as well as that of their officers and directors-as a condition of participating in the federal procurement process.

The legislation would help ensure that political spending-or the lack thereof-continues to play no role in federal contracting decisions. The legislation 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 undersigned organizations congratulate Sen. Collins, Rep. Issa, and their original cosponsors for their leadership on this issue, and encourage you to cosponsor the "Keeping Politics Out of Federal Contracting Act of 2011."


Sincerely,

60 Plus Association
Aeronautical Repair Station Association
Aerospace Industries Association
Agricultural Retailers Association
Air Conditioning Contractors of America
Air Transport Association
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
American Apparel & Footwear Association
American Bakers Association
American Business Conference
American Chemistry Council
American Composites Manufacturers Association
American Council of Engineering Companies
American Family Business Institute
American Foundry Society
American Frozen Food Institute
American Hotel & Lodging Association
American Insurance Association
American Iron and Steel Institute
American Lighting Association
American Meat Institute
American Moving & Storage Association
American Nursery & Landscape Association
American Petroleum Institute
American Road & Transportation Builders Association
American Supply Association
American Trucking Associations
American Wholesale Marketers Association
Arkansas State Chamber/Associated Industries of Arkansas (AR)
Arizona-New Mexico Cable Communications Association (AZ)
Associated Builders & Contractors, Inc.
Associated Builders & Contractors Mid-Tennessee Chapter
Associated Builders & Contractors, Rocky Mountain Chapter
Associated Equipment Distributors
Associated General Contractors
Associated General Contractors of Maine
Associated Industries of Massachusetts (MA)
Associated Wire Rope Fabricators
Association of California Life and Health Insurance Companies (CA)
Association of Equipment Manufacturers
Association ofWashington Business (WA)
BismarckMandan Chamber (ND)
Brick Industry Association
Buckeye Valley Chamber of Commerce (AZ)
Buffalo Niagara Partnership (NY)
Business Coalition for Fair Competition
Business Council of Alabama (AL)
Business Roundtable
California Association of Health Plans
Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry (PA)
Club Managers Association of America
Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry
Construction Industry Round Table
Construction Management Association of America
Council on Federal Procurement of Architectural and Engineering Services
Edison Electric Institute
El Centro Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau (CA)
Financial Executives International
Florida Chamber of Commerce
Food Marketing Institute
Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce (NE)
Georgia Association of Health Plans (GA)
Georgia Chamber of Commerce (GA)
Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce (VA)
Healthcare Distribution Management Association
Heating, Airconditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International
Independent Electrical Contractors, Inc.
Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association
Indiana Chamber of Commerce
Indiana Manufactures Association
Industrial Fasteners Institute
Industrial Supply Association
Inland Pacific Chapter Associated Builders and Contractors
International Dairy Foods Association
International Foodservice Distributors Association
International Franchise Association
InternationalWarehouse Logistics Association
ISSA - TheWorldwide Cleaning Industry Association
Johnson City, Jonesborough Washington County Chamber of Commerce (TN)
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
Louisiana Association of Business and Industry
Maine State Chamber of Commerce
Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors
Manufacturer & Business Association (PA)
Marine Retailers Association of America
Metals Service Center Institute
Missouri Chamber of Commerce (MO)
Montana Chamber of Commerce (MT)
Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce (AL)
Motorcycle Industry Council
National Association of Chemical Distributors
National Association of Electrical Distributors
National Association of Home Builders
National Association of Manufacturers
National Association ofWholesaler-Distributors
National Automobile Dealers Association
National BeerWholesalers Association
National Council of Chain Restaurants
National Council of Textile Organizations
National Electrical Contractors Association
National Electrical Manufacturers Association
National Federation of Independent Business
National Grain and Feed Association
National Marine Distributors Association
National Propane Gas Association
National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
National Restaurant Association
National Retail Federation
National Roofing Contractors Association
National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association
NationalWood Flooring Association
Nebraska Chamber of Commerce & Industry (NE)
North American Die Casting Association
North American Equipment Dealers Association
North Dakota Chamber of Commerce (ND)
Nuclear Energy Institute
Ohio Chamber of Commerce
Ohio Restaurant Association
Ohio Society of CPAs (OH)
Oklahoma State Chamber of Commerce (OK)
Oshkosh Chamber of Chamber (WI)
Outdoor Power Equipment Aftermarket Association
Outdoor Power Equipment and Engine Service Association
Outdoor Power Equipment Institute
Palm Desert Area Chamber of Commerce (CA)
Pelican Chapter, Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc
Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry (PA)
Petroleum Equipment Institute
Pet Food Institute
Portland Cement Association
Public Service Research Council
ReAL Action Network
RegularFolksUnited
Reno Sparks Chamber of Commerce (NV)
Retail Industry Leaders Association
Rubber Manufacturers Association
Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce (MD)
Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce (PA)
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council
Southwestern Association (Kansas City, MO)
St George Area Chamber of Commerce (UT)
Tempe Chamber of Commerce (AZ)
Textile Rental Services Association
The Aluminum Association
The Hosiery Association
The Kansas Chamber (KS)
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Travel Association
Utah Restaurant Association (UT)
Warren County Regional Chamber of Commerce (NJ)
Washington Automotive Wholesalers Association (WA)
Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America
Wisconsin Grocers Association
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce
Wichita Independent Business Association (KS)
Wyoming Stock Growers Association




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