Is Obama Circumventing Congress to Restrict Political Speech?

Mike Brownfield /

Is President Barack Obama trying to perform an end-run around Congress in order to implement restrictions on political speech?

It’s a question that 27 senators put to President Obama in a letter this week in which they urged him to reconsider a draft executive order (EO) that would require government contractors to disclose political contributions.

In the letter, the senators cite to Hans von Spakovsky, Senior Legal Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, who raised concerns over the underlying purpose of the executive order:

Given similarities between the draft EO and some provisions of the DISCLOSE Act, which was rejected by the Senate in its current form, we are also concerned that the EO may be an effort to circumvent Congress. At least one commentator, former Federal Election Commissioner Hans von Spakovsky, has already criticized the draft EO as an attempt by your Administration “to implement–by executive fiat–portions of the DISCLOSE Act.” (more…)