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The White House says it is considering requiring companies pursuing government contracts to disclose their campaign contributions.

White House press secretary Jay Carney says the requirement would be achieved by an executive order that is in the process of being drafted.

With President Obama officially a candidate for re-election, Mr. Carney denied any political motives behind the effort.

Mr. Carney told reporters that Mr. Obama wants to make the federal contracting system more transparent and more accountable because he believes that is what U.S. taxpayers deserve. He talked to reporters as Mr. Obama flew to California for two days of public appearances that will mix town hall meetings on the economy with high-dollar campaign fundraising events.


Chairman threatens ATF with contempt

A House committee chairman is threatening the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with contempt of Congress for failing to turn over documents.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a subpoena last month seeking documents relating to ATF’s anti-gun-trafficking strategies along the U.S.-Mexico border. The committee is investigating reports that the agency allowed assault rifles to be sold to suspected straw purchasers for a trafficking ring and that lives were jeopardized as a result.

Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, California Republican, wrote to ATF’s acting director Wednesday, complaining that the agency is refusing to turn over the documents because of ongoing criminal investigations.

He said the committee is legally entitled to the documents for its separate investigation.

ATF did not respond to a request for comment.

From wire dispatches and staff reports