WH: Order on political contributions a work in progress

An executive order requiring companies competing for federal contracts to disclose their recent political donations is still a work in progress, the White House said Monday. 

White House press secretary Jay Carney, however, reiterated his defense of the measure, saying it demonstrates President Obama's commitment to transparency.

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"A draft is just that. It could change as it goes through the process," Carney said during his daily briefing with reporters. "The president is committed to transparency, and he believes the American people should know where their money is going."

The White House has emphasized that the final product has not been completed and has denied that the order is designed to benefit Obama amid Republican criticism that the measure is politically motivated. 

A draft of the order mandates that all contracting departments and agencies within the federal government require "all entities submitting offers for federal contracts to disclose certain political contributions that may have been made within the two years prior to submission of their offer." 

The order appears to be a response to the Supreme Court's decision in the Citizens United case last year, which permitted unlimited political spending by corporations and unions.

The draft copy covers all contributions to political parties or federal candidates or expenditures on their behalf and would require disclosure of contributions that exceed $5,000 in a given year.

Congress last year failed to pass the Disclose Act, which would have imposed similar requirements.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said last week that it's an "abuse of executive branch authority."

"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," McConnell said in a statement. "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."

-- Shane D'Aprile contributed to this post

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