Procurement database bill still not in the clear

|Originally posted Sept. 7 at 1:43 p.m. and updated Sept. 8 at 9:42 a.m.|

(UPDATED) Legislation that would create a centralized database tracking all sorts of federal spending had one speedbump lifted, but another one applied.

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) removed his hold on the bill, S. 2590, after meeting with the bill’s sponsor, Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), over the past several days, Coburn and congressional officials said.

But the bill still is on hold after an unnamed Democrat still has a hold on the legislation, a congressional source said. Because of the latest hold, majority leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) could not specify when the bill will come to the floor. Frist, though, said he will move the bill quickly once the remaining hold is removed, the source said.

The bill, which would require the Office of Management and Budget to develop a public, searchable database with information on federal contracts, subcontracts, grants, subgrants, loans and other financial assistance, passed the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in late July.

Stevens and Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) placed holds on the bill shortly thereafter, wanting more information about the legislation before it was sent to the Senate floor. Byrd officially dropped his hold last week, while Stevens and Coburn started discussing their concerns last Friday.

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