Group ranks Congress on privatization votes


A coalition of businesses pushing for the privatization of government work ranked Congress this week on votes that would have invited more competition between the public and private sector.

“We are seeing an unprecedented level of government expansion into numerous activities that should be left to the private sector,” John Palatiello, president of the Business Coalition for Fair Competition, said at a news conference at the National Press Club on Thursday. “In our free enterprise system, government should be the umpire, not the opposing team.”

The coalition’s report lists how each member of the U.S. House and Senate voted on legislation, amendments and procedural actions — 10 in each house — that would have allowed private companies to compete with government workers or impeded companies’ competition for federal contracts.

Among the Senate actions members were scored on were amendments that would have repealed the previously enacted government-run healthcare law and allowed private companies to compete with the Postal Service. Key House votes included amendments that prevented the executive branch from requiring companies to disclose their political contributions as a condition of winning government contracts and that would have removed restrictions on agencies’ use of OMB Circular A-76 public-private cost competitions.

Not surprisingly, Republican leaders, such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Rep. Paul Ryan, who is presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate, agreed with the coalition’s position on key votes. On the other hand, Democratic leaders, such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi,  received goose eggs.


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  1. Contracting out does not always save money in the long run. Several years ago the department I work for contracted out the engineer’s work. We paid almost double and didn’t get half the services that our regular engineer did.

    Also, when a company places a bid for a contract they include in it there employee salaries, employee benefits, overhead, and their PROFIT. So a lot of jobs that are done by the federal worker is done cheaper.

  2. Contracting out is not privatization. The work is still paid by taxpayer dollars and directed by bureaucrats.

    I do agree that much of the costs of employing bureaucrats are hidden. They tend to be spread across multiple budgets, making them look artificially cheap.

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