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Is High-road Contracting Policy Dead in the Water?

OMB Deputy Director nominee Heather Higginbottom, Photo: White House/ Pete Sousa

Is the so-called high-road contracting policy, which would favor the awarding of contracts to companies with labor-friendly policies, such as higher wages, dead in the water?

If Heather Higginbottom’s remarks to a Senate panel are any indication, it’s at least floundering.

Higginbottom, testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee in confirmation hearings for her nomination as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget — the No. 2 spot — said the agency was not currently considering the high-road policy.

However, following the hearings, an administration official was singing a slightly different tune (or maybe the same tune in a different key) and told Government Executive that OMB is “considering the views of Congress, the private sector, and others with respect to possible initiatives and no decision has been made.”

Even with the high-road confusion, Higginbottom is likely to be confirmed, with Gov Exec reporting she “generally sailed” through the hearings.

Federal News Radio, likewise, reported her nomination is likely to be approved by the Senate. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), who chairs the committee, said he expected Higginbottom to be confirmed with her confirmation going to the full Senate for a vote as early as soon as next week.

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