HR 2834 IH
To provide for the disclosure by lobbyists of financial benefits provided Members of Congress and for other purposes.
August 3, 1993
Mr. FINGERHUT (for himself, Ms. SHEPHERD, Ms. SCHENK, Ms. CANTWELL, Mrs. MALONEY, Mr. BARRETT of Wisconsin, Mr. KLEIN, Mr. BECERRA Mr. SANDERS, and Mrs. CLAYTON) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
To provide for the disclosure by lobbyists of financial benefits provided Members of Congress and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
- This Act may be cited as the `Sunshine for Lobbyists Act of 1993'.
SEC. 2. INFORMATION ON FINANCIAL BENEFITS.
- (a) IN GENERAL- Each lobbyist shall make a semiannual report to the Attorney General of a list of each individual financial benefit provided directly or indirectly by the lobbyist (including a financial benefit provided by a lobbyist employed by or a lobbyist who is a member of a lobbyist) to a covered legislative branch official, to an entity that is established, maintained, controlled, or financed by a covered legislative branch official, or to any other person or entity on behalf of or in the name of a covered legislative branch official, disclosing--
- (1) with respect to each financial benefit other than one described in paragraph (2), (3), (4), or (5)--
- (A) the name and position of the covered legislative branch official or other person or entity to whom or which the financial benefit was provided;
- (B) the nature of the financial benefit;
- (C) the date on which the financial benefit was provided; and
- (D) the value of the financial benefit;
- (2) with respect to each financial benefit that is in the form of a widely attended reception in the District of Columbia area to which covered legislative branch officials were invited--
- (A) the nature of the reception;
- (B) the date on which the reception occurred; and
- (C) a single aggregate figure for the expenses incurred by the registrant in connection with the reception;
- (3) with respect to each financial benefit that is in the form of a conference, retreat, or similar event for or on behalf of covered legislative branch officials that is sponsored by or affiliated with an official congressional organization--
- (A) the nature of the conference, retreat, or other event;
- (B) the date or dates on which the conference, retreat, or other event occurred;
- (C) the identity of the organization that sponsored or is affiliated with the event; and
- (D) a single aggregate figure for the expenses incurred by the lobbyist in connection with the conference, retreat, or similar event;
- (4) with respect to each financial benefit that is in the form of an event that is hosted or cohosted with or in honor of 1 or more covered legislative branch officials--
- (A) the name and position of each such covered legislative branch official;
- (B) the nature of the event;
- (C) the date on which the event occurred; and
- (D) the expenses incurred by the lobbyist in connection with the event; and
- (5) with respect to each financial benefit that is in the form of election campaign fundraising activity--
- (A) the name and position of the covered legislative branch official on behalf of whom the fundraising activity was performed;
- (B) the nature of the fundraising activity;
- (C) the date or dates on which the fundraising activity was performed;
- (D) the expenses incurred by the lobbyist in connection with the fundraising activity; and
- (E) the number of contributions and the aggregate amount of contributions known by the lobbyist to have been made to the covered legislative branch official as a result of the fundraising activity.
- For purposes of paragraph (2), the term `widely attended reception' includes a reception open to members from throughout a given industry or profession or open to individuals representing a range of persons interested in a given matter.
- (b) NOTIFICATION- Two weeks before filing a semi-annual report under subsection (a), the lobbyist filing the report shall provide in writing to any covered legislative branch official who will be listed in the report with a complete list of the financial benefits provided, directly or indirectly, to such official.
- (c) EXEMPTION- A list described in subsection (a) need not disclose financial benefits having a value of $20 or less to the extent that the aggregate value of such financial benefits that are provided to or on behalf of a covered legislative branch official or other person or entity during the calendar year in which the semiannual period covered by the report occurs has not exceeded $50.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
- (1) The term `lobbyist' means any individual who is employed or retained by another for financial or other compensation to perform services that include lobbying contacts, other than an individual whose lobbying activities are only incidental to, and are not a significant part of, the services provided by such individual to the client.
- (2) The term `client' means any person who employs or retains another person for financial or other compensation to conduct lobbying activities on its own behalf. An organization whose employees act as lobbyists on its behalf is both a client and an employer of its employee lobbyists. In the case of a coalition or association that employs or retains persons to conduct lobbying activities on behalf of its membership, the client is the coalition or association and not its individual members.
- (3) The term `lobbying activities' means lobbying contacts and efforts in support of such contacts, including preparation and planning activities, research and other background work that is intended for use in contacts, and coordination with the lobbying activities of others. Lobbying activities include grass roots lobbying communications and communications with members, as defined under section 4911 (d)(1)(A) and (d)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and the regulations implementing such provisions, to the extent that such activities are made in direct support of lobbying contacts.
- (4)(A) The term `lobbying contact' means any oral or written communication with a covered legislative branch official made on behalf of a client with regard to--
- (i) the formulation, modification, or adoption of Federal legislation (including legislative proposals);
- (ii) the formulation, modification, or adoption of a Federal rule, regulation, Executive order, or any other program, policy or position of the United States Government; or
- (iii) the administration or execution of a Federal program or policy (including the negotiation, award, or administration of a Federal contract, grant, loan, permit, or license) except that it does not include communications that are made to executive branch officials in the agency responsible for taking such action who serve in the Senior Executive Service, or who are members of the uniformed services whose pay grade is lower than O-9 under section 201 of title 37, United States Code.
- (B) The term shall not include communications that are--
- (i) made by public officials acting in their official capacity;
- (ii) made by representatives of a media organization who are primarily engaged in gathering and disseminating news and information to the public;
- (iii) made in a speech, article, publication or other material that is widely distributed to the public, or through the media;
- (iv) made on behalf of a foreign principal and disclosed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, as amended (22 U.S.C. 611 et seq.);
- (v) requests for appointments, requests for the status of a Federal action, or other similar ministerial contacts, if there is no attempt to influence covered legislative branch officials;
- (vi) made in the course of participation in an advisory committee subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act;
- (vii) testimony given before a committee, subcommittee, or office of Congress, or submitted for inclusion in the public record of a hearing conducted by such committee, subcommittee, or office;
- (viii) information provided in writing in response to a specific written request from a covered legislative branch official;
- (ix) required by subpoena, civil investigative demand, or otherwise compelled by statute, regulation, or other action of Congress or a Federal agency;
- (x) made in response to a notice in the Federal Register, Commerce Business Daily, or other similar publication soliciting communications from the public and directed to the agency official specifically designated in the notice to receive such communications;
- (xi) not possible to report without disclosing information, the unauthorized disclosure of which is prohibited by law;
- (xii) made to agency officials with regard to judicial proceedings, criminal or civil law enforcement inquiries, investigations or proceedings, or filings required by statute or regulation;
- (xiii) made in compliance with written agency procedures regarding an adjudication conducted by the agency under section 554 of title 5, United States Code, or substantially similar provisions;
- (xiv) written comments filed in a public docket and other communications that are made on the record in a public proceeding;
- (xv) a formal petition for agency action, made in writing pursuant to established agency procedures; and
- (xvi) made on behalf of an individual with regard to such individual's benefits, employment, other personal matters involving only that individual, or disclosures by that individual pursuant to applicable whistleblower statutes.
- (5) The term `covered legislative branch official' means--
- (A) a Member of Congress;
- (B) an elected officer of Congress;
- (C) any employee of a Member of the House of Representatives, of a committee of the House of Representatives, or on the leadership staff of the House of Representatives;
- (D) any employee of a Senator, of a Senate Committee, or on the leadership staff of the Senate; and
- (E) any employee of a joint committee of the Congress.
- (6) The term `financial benefit'--
- (A) means anything of value given to, on behalf of, or for the benefit of a covered legislative branch official, including--
- (i) a gift;
- (ii) payment for local or long-distance transportation, entertainment, food, or lodging, whether provided in kind, by purchase of a ticket, by payment in advance or by reimbursement, or otherwise;
- (iii) a contribution or other payment made to a third party in lieu of an honorarium on the basis of a designation, recommendation, or other specification made by the covered legislative branch official;
- (iv) reimbursement of an expense;
- (v) a loan; and
- (vi) an expenditure made for a conference, retreat, or other event benefiting a covered person, but
- (B) does not include--
- (i) a contribution, as defined in the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431 et seq.), that is required to be reported under that Act, unless the contribution is in the form of participation in a fundraising activity on behalf of a covered legislative branch official, including the solicitation of contributions, hosting or cohosting of a fundraising event, or service on a campaign steering committee or its equivalent;
- (ii) a modest item of food or refreshments, such as a soft drink, coffee, or doughnut, offered other than as part of a meal;
- (iii) a greeting card or other item of little intrinsic value, such as a plaque, certificate, or trophy, that is intended solely for presentation;
- (iv) financial benefits given under circumstances which make it clear that the benefits are motivated by a family relationship rather than the position of the recipient; or
- (v) financial benefits which are not used and which are promptly returned to the donor.