H.R. 3078 (104th): Federal Agency Anti-Lobbying Act

104th Congress, 1995–1996. Text as of Mar 13, 1996 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

HR 3078 IH

104th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 3078

To amend title 31, United States Code, to prohibit the use of appropriated funds by Federal agencies for lobbying activities.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 13, 1996

Mr. CLINGER (for himself, Mr. TAUZIN, Mr. GILMAN, Mr. SHUSTER, Mr. YOUNG of Alaska, Mr. GOODLING, Mr. LIVINGSTON, Mr. STUMP, Mr. HANSEN, Mr. ROBERTS, Mr. WOLF, Mr. BURTON of Indiana, Mrs. VUCANOVICH, Mr. BARTON of Texas, Mr. MYERS of Indiana, Mr. BUNNING of Kentucky, Mr. HASTERT, Mr. HEFLEY, Mr. SHAYS, Mr. SMITH of Texas, Mr. PARKER, Mr. CUNNINGHAM, Mr. EWING, Mr. ZELIFF, Mr. BACHUS, Mr. CALVERT, Mr. HOEKSTRA, Mr. HORN, Mr. HUTCHINSON, Mr. LAZIO of New York, Mr. MICA, Mr. SMITH of Michigan, Mr. TALENT, Mr. BASS, Mr. COOLEY of Oregon, Mr. DAVIS, Mr. EHRLICH, Mr. FOX of Pennsylvania, Mr. GUTKNECHT, Mr. HAYWORTH, Mr. HOSTETTLER, Mr. LATOURETTE, Mr. MCINTOSH, Mr. SCARBOROUGH, Mr. SHADEGG, Mrs. SEASTRAND, Mr. SOUDER, Mr. STOCKMAN, Mr. TIAHRT, Mr. HOBSON, Mr. BLILEY, and Mr. NETHERCUTT) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight


A BILL

To amend title 31, United States Code, to prohibit the use of appropriated funds by Federal agencies for lobbying activities.

    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 ‘Federal Agency Anti-Lobbying Act’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.

    (a) FINDINGS- The Congress finds that--

      (1) Federal agency employees have used appropriated funds to foster public support and opposition to legislation pending before the Congress;

      (2) there are conflicting interpretations of the existing anti-lobbying restrictions; and

      (3) the use of appropriated funds derived from tax revenues paid to the Treasury by all Americans to preferentially support or oppose pending legislation is inappropriate and improper.

    (b) PURPOSE- The purpose of this Act is to establish a civil prohibition on the expenditure of appropriated funds by Federal agencies for lobbying purposes and to make clear that such funds may not be used in any manner or in any amount, however small, to organize efforts to affect the outcome of congressional action by appealing directly or indirectly for public support.

SEC. 3. PROHIBITION ON USE OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR LOBBYING BY FEDERAL AGENCIES.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Subchapter III of chapter 13 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

‘Sec. 1354. Prohibition on lobbying by Federal agencies

    ‘(a) PROHIBITION- Except as provided in subsection (b), until or unless such activity has been specifically authorized by an Act of Congress and notwithstanding any other provision of law, no funds made available to any Federal agency by appropriation shall be used by such agency for any activity (including the preparation, publication, distribution, or use of any kit, pamphlet, booklet, public presentation, news release, radio, television, or film presentation, video, or other written or oral statement) that is intended to promote public support or opposition to any legislative proposal (including the confirmation of the nomination of a public official or the ratification of a treaty) on which congressional action is not complete.

    ‘(b) EXCEPTIONS-

      ‘(1) PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT- Subsection (a) shall not apply to the President or Vice President.

      ‘(2) CONGRESSIONAL COMMUNICATIONS- Subsection (a) shall not be construed to prevent any officer or employee of a Federal agency from--

        ‘(A) communicating directly to a Member of Congress (or to any staff of a Member or committee of Congress) a request for legislation or appropriations that such officer or employee deems necessary for the efficient conduct of the public business; or

        ‘(B) responding to a request for information or technical assistance made by a Member of Congress (or by any staff of a Member or committee of Congress).

      ‘(3) PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS ON VIEWS OF PRESIDENT- Subsection (a) shall not be construed to prevent any Federal agency official whose appointment is confirmed by the Senate, any official in the Executive Office of the President directly appointed by the President or Vice President, or the head of any Federal agency described in subsection (d)(2), from communicating with the American public, through radio, television, or other public communication media, on the views of the President for or against any pending legislative proposal. The preceding sentence shall not permit any such official to delegate to another person the authority to make communications subject to the exemption provided by such sentence.

    ‘(c) COMPTROLLER GENERAL-

      ‘(1) ASSISTANCE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL- In exercising the authority provided in section 712, as applied to this section, the Comptroller General may obtain, without reimbursement from the Comptroller General, the assistance of the Inspector General within whose Federal agency activity prohibited by subsection (a) of this section is under review.

      ‘(2) EVALUATION- One year after the date of the enactment of this section, the Comptroller General shall report to the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Governmental Affairs of the Senate on the implementation of this section.

      ‘(3) ANNUAL REPORT- The Comptroller General shall, in the annual report under section 719(a), include summaries of investigations undertaken by the Comptroller General with respect to subsection (a).

    ‘(d) DEFINITION- For purposes of this section, the term ‘Federal agency’ means--

      ‘(1) any executive agency, within the meaning of section 105 of title 5; and

      ‘(2) any private corporation created by a law of the United States for which the Congress appropriates funds.’.

    (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- The table of sections for chapter 13 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 1353 the following new item:

      ‘1354. Prohibition on lobbying by Federal agencies.’.

    (c) APPLICABILITY- The amendments made by this section shall apply to the use of funds after the date of the enactment of this Act, including funds appropriated or received on or before such date.