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Demanding Political Records Before Awarding Federal Contracts is "Outrageous,' McConnell Says


Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement Wednesday regarding recent press reports that the Obama Administration is considering an unprecedented executive order allowing the administration to review a company's political donations before deciding whether to award them a federal contract:

"Just last year the Senate rejected a cynical effort to muzzle critics of this administration and its allies in Congress. Now, under the guise of "transparency,' the Obama administration reportedly wants to know the political leanings of any company or small business, including those of their officers and directors, before the government decides if they'll award them federal contracts. Let me be clear: No White House should be able to review your political party affiliation before deciding if you're worthy of a government contract. And no one should have to worry about whether their political support will determine their ability to get or keep a federal contract or keep their job.

"Democracy is compromised when individuals and small businesses fear reprisal, or expect favor from the federal government as a result of their political associations. So recent press reports about an unprecedented draft Executive Order raise troubling concerns about an effort to silence or intimidate political adversaries' speech through the government contracting system. If true, the proposed effort would represent an outrageous and anti-Democratic abuse of executive branch authority. No administration should use the federal contracting system for campaign purposes.

"It is my sincere hope that recent reports of a draft Executive Order were simply the work of a partisan within the Obama administration and not the position taken by the President himself. But he should make that clear."

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