White House Mandate on Political Gift Disclosure Eliminated in Defense Bill

December 13, 2011

In an effort to override a controversial presidential order, Congress eliminated as part of the defense authorization bill a requirement for companies to reveal their political contributions before bidding on defense contracts.

The Senate and House conferees on the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act filed their compromise version of the bill Monday night. According to highlights of the conference report released by the House Armed Services Committee, the bill is meant "to keep the acquisition process free from political influence."

The language refers to a draft executive order released in April, which would require all companies bidding for Department of Defense contracts to include in their proposals a complete list of political contributions made by the company, its political action committee and its senior executives during the preceding two years, as well as contributions made to third-party organizations that may engage in their own political advertising. 

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