The Senate, in what feels like its 7,000 hour of voting on amendments to the stimulus bill, just approved requiring competitive bidding for federal contracts.
The amendment, introduced by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., passed 97-0 Friday afternoon, a monumental show of support from both Republicans and Democrats who have been concerned about oversight of the stimulus.
The amendment to the Senate version of the bill will require “all contracts, grants and cooperative agreements awarded under this act to be competitively bid.”
Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., said such an amendment is critical to ensuring money is responsibly spent.
The temptation to ignore the transparency of the bidding process will be too great to ignore unless we act,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., thinks he can reach the required 60 votes Friday to pass the stimulus bill. If debate continues too late today, he said he will invoke cloture, forcing a Sunday vote on the bill.