Obama procurement chief nominee clears Senate panel

OPM photo

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday approved President Obama’s choice to be administrator of the White House Office of Federal Procurement Policy.

Committee members present for the vote unanimously approved Joseph Jordan, a current Office of Management and Budget adviser. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., who weighed in by proxy, registered the sole vote against the nomination.

Ranking member Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she was backing Jordan despite some “qualms” as to whether he “will stand up to efforts by the Obama administration to introduce politics to the contracting process,” a reference to a leaked draft executive order from the president that would require contracting companies to disclose campaign contributions. Collins said Jordan’s statements and responses to her questions convinced her that “his personal view is that politics has no place in contracting,” even though he was not “definitive” on the draft executive order. Other critics, she said, opposed Johnson as underqualified.

Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., however, said Jordan is well-qualified. “Mr. Jordan has acquisition experience in both the private and public sectors,” Lieberman noted in a statement. “I support the nomination and urge my colleagues to do the same.”

The procurement nominee was approved in a bloc vote on several bills, including ones dealing with changes in federal domestic partnership benefits and efforts to keep politics out of federal contracting awards.

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