WASHINGTON — The White House says it’s considering requiring companies pursuing federal contracts to disclose their campaign contributions.
Spokesman Jay Carney says that would be achieved by an executive order that’s being drafted.
With President Barack Obama officially a candidate for re-election, Carney denied any political motives behind the effort.
Carney said Obama wants to make the contracting system more transparent and more accountable, because that’s what U.S. taxpayers deserve. The spokesman talked to reporters as Obama flew to California for two days of public appearances mixing town hall meetings on the state of the economy with high-dollar campaign fundraisers.
The requirement is similar to a provision in a campaign finance bill blocked by Senate Republicans in the last Congress. It would have banned contractors from donating to federal candidates or parties.
“I have been a longtime supporter of full disclosure and transparency in campaign advertising, but any proposal that would undermine the First Amendment rights of our citizens to free speech should be dropped. Congress has spoken on this issue and such an order appears to circumvent the will of Congress and should be reconsidered. Political contributions should not dictate the merits of federal contracts, nor limit the access of any American to their federal government,” said Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine.