Clinton to Push Broader Power to Deny Government Contracts
Boyer, Dave, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
The Clinton administration is announcing today revised "blacklisting" regulations for awarding federal contracts, and a top House Republican accused Vice President Al Gore of pandering to big labor.
The new rules, to be published in today's Federal Register, would expand the government's ability to deny federal contracts to companies based on their labor, tax, antitrust and environmental records.
Mr. Gore promised the AFL-CIO three years ago that the administration would implement the policy change.
"The revised regulations show what $35-plus million in campaign cash from organized labor can purchase from this administration," said Rep. Bill Goodling, Pennsylvania Republican and chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee.
"It has taken Vice President Al Gore three years to deliver on his 1997 promise to the AFL-CIO leadership, and he has delivered just as the campaign for president begins to hit full stride," Mr. Goodling said.
Mr. Gore, the likely Democratic presidential nominee, has not enjoyed full-throated political support from labor. The Teamsters, for example, have been toying with the idea of endorsing Green Party candidate Ralph Nader. Current procurement regulations permit the government to deny contracts to companies that violate labor laws or that don't have "a satisfactory record of integrity and business ethics."
The administration has said the regulations are not clear and should be rewritten to allow more consideration of a firm's labor record in deciding whether to award it a contract.
The proposed regulations are subject to a 60-day comment period, said Mr. …