Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Darrell Issa has dropped plans to subpoena Office of Management and Budget officials, Politico reports, after the White House announced Office of Federal Procurement Policy Administrator Dan Gordon would testify before the committee in hearings dealing with government contractors’ political donations.
A few weeks ago, speculation began mounting over a draft executive order requiring companies contracting with the federal government to disclose political contributions. The administration says the order would increase openness and transparency. However, critics of the plan say it would inject politics into the contract-awarding process and install a “pay-to-play” scheme.
Last week, Issa’s committee issued an invitation for either OMB Director Jack Lew or Deputy Director Jeff Zients to answer questions about the contracting order. But Lew, in a letter Friday, declined, because “this hearing concerns a draft presidential executive order that is still moving through the standard review and feedback process.”
Earlier this week, Issa indicated the committee would consider a subpoena — “the use of compulsory process” — to compel OMB to testify.
But as Politico reports, the administration has reversed course and now says, Gordon, who heads up federal procurement policy, will testify before the committee.
However, there’s a catch. An unnamed administration source told Politico the decision to allow Gordon to appear before the committee is not necessarily a “reversal,” because he will only answer broad questions related to procurement policy and will likely insist he cannot comment on an executive order “still under deliberation.”