The White House is floating around a draft executive order that outlines some possible new rules on campaign cash.
The order being sent around Capitol Hill would make companies with federal contracts disclose their political contributions.
Republicans criticized the action, saying it's making contract work too political.
"No White House should be able to review your political party affiliation before deciding if you're worthy of a government contract," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement.
The administration is seeking to wave off influence of some big groups financing political ads. It was a hot-button issue in the 2010 midterm elections where White House and Democratic officials said groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Crossroads GPS (who is affiliated with Fox News contributor Karl Rove) might be funded by foreign entities.
"It could be the oil industry. It could be the insurance industry. It could even be foreign-owned corporations. You don't know because they don't have to disclose," Obama said at a rally in Philadelphia last October.
The issue of campaign cash has put the Chamber at odds with the Obama administration after the Supreme Court ruled in early 2010 that corporations and unions can pay for political ads anonymously.
One of the rules in the letter, first obtained by Fox News' Trish Turner, includes stopping certain contributions during negotiation and performance of a contract.
Chamber officials say the draft letter goes beyond just corporate donations and reaches too far.
"They're asking for not just companies activities, but it's officers and even beyond that, the boards of directors of these companies. Now this is pretty outrageous," Bruce Josten told Fox News.
The White House emphasized that the letter is just a draft proposal and particular specifics could change over time.
While White House Press Secretary Jay Carney wouldn't get into details, he did say the president is committed to improving federal contracting system and making it more transparent.
Carney denied there was anything political about it. "He believes very strongly that taxpayers deserve to know whether or not the contractors that their money is going to is being...That's the responsible thing to do when you're handling taxpayer dollars," Carney said.
Critics argue quality of product is the best outcome in gaining a contract. They also emphasize that unions are left out of the equation, setting up a double standard.
"Who it leaves out is the unionized employees who work for all of those companies that ironically are outside allies of the administration," Josten said.
President Obama himself is on a three-day Western swing where he's doing a little mix of pushing his debt policy and fundraising at the same time.
Last year Congress tried to pass the DISCLOSE Act which would deal with campaign contributions - it passed in the House but failed in the Senate.