H.R. 4667 (109th): Lobbying Transparency and Accountability Act of 2006

109th Congress, 2005–2006. Text as of Jan 31, 2006 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

HR 4667 IH

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4667

To provide greater transparency with respect to lobbying activities, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 31, 2006

Mr. FITZPATRICK of Pennsylvania introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committees on Standards of Official Conduct, Rules, Resources, and Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To provide greater transparency with respect to lobbying activities, 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; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title- This Act may be cited as the `Lobbying Transparency and Accountability Act of 2006'.

    (b) Table of Contents- The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

      Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

TITLE I--ENHANCING LOBBYING DISCLOSURE

      Sec. 101. Quarterly filing of lobbying disclosure reports.

      Sec. 102. Electronic filing of lobbying disclosure reports.

      Sec. 103. Public database of lobbying disclosure information.

      Sec. 104. Disclosure by registered lobbyists of all past executive and congressional employment.

      Sec. 105. Disclosure of grassroots activities by paid lobbyists.

      Sec. 106. Disclosure of lobbyist contributions and payments.

      Sec. 107. Increased penalty for failure to comply with lobbying disclosure requirements.

      Sec. 108. Disclosure of lobbying activities by certain coalitions and associations.

TITLE II--SLOWING THE REVOLVING DOOR

      Sec. 201. Amendments to restrictions on former officers, employees, and elected officials of the executive and legislative branches.

      Sec. 202. Additional employment rights.

      Sec. 203. Public disclosure by Members of Congress of employment negotiations.

TITLE III--CURBING EXCESSES IN PRIVATELY FUNDED TRAVEL AND LOBBYIST GIFTS

      Sec. 301. Requirement of full payment and disclosure of charter flights.

      Sec. 302. Valuation of tickets to sporting and entertainment events.

      Sec. 303. Ban on privately-funded travel.

TITLE IV--OVERSIGHT OF ETHICS AND LOBBYING

      Sec. 401. Comptroller General review and semiannual reports.

TITLE V--HOUSE RULES CHANGES

      Sec. 501. Earmarks.

      Sec. 502. Three-day layover requirement.

TITLE VI--POLITICAL ADVOCACY

      Sec. 601. Prohibition on the use of Federal funds for political advocacy.

      Sec. 602. Disclosure requirements.

      Sec. 603. Federal entity report.

      Sec. 604. Public accountability.

      Sec. 605. Severability.

      Sec. 606. First amendment rights preserved.

TITLE I--ENHANCING LOBBYING DISCLOSURE

SEC. 101. QUARTERLY FILING OF LOBBYING DISCLOSURE REPORTS.

    (a) Quarterly Filing Required- Section 5 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (in this title referred to as the `Act') (2 U.S.C. 1604) is amended--

      (1) in subsection (a)--

        (A) by striking `Semiannual' and inserting `Quarterly';

        (B) by striking `the semiannual period' and all that follows through `July of each year' and insert `the quarterly period beginning on the first days of January, April, July, and October of each year'; and

        (C) by striking `such semiannual period' and insert `such quarterly period'; and

      (2) in subsection (b)--

        (A) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking `semiannual report' and inserting `quarterly report';

        (B) in paragraph (2), by striking `semiannual filing period' and inserting `quarterly period';

        (C) in paragraph (3), by striking `semiannual period' and inserting `quarterly period'; and

        (D) in paragraph (4), by striking `semiannual filing period' and inserting `quarterly period'.

    (b) Conforming Amendments-

      (1) DEFINITION- Section 3(10) of the Act (2 U.S.C. 1602) is amended by striking `six month period' and inserting `three-month period'.

      (2) REGISTRATION- Section 4 of the Act (2 U.S.C. 1603) is amended--

        (A) in subsection (a)(3)(A), by striking `semiannual period' and inserting `quarterly period'; and

        (B) in subsection (b)(3)(A), by striking `semiannual period' and inserting `quarterly period'.

      (3) ENFORCEMENT- Section 6(6) of the Act (2 U.S.C. 1605(6)) is amended by striking `semiannual period' and inserting `quarterly period'.

      (4) ESTIMATES- Section 15 of the Act (2 U.S.C. 1610) is amended--

        (A) in subsection (a)(1), by striking `semiannual period' and inserting `quarterly period'; and

        (B) in subsection (b)(1), by striking `semiannual period' and inserting `quarterly period'.

      (5) DOLLAR AMOUNTS-

        (A) REGISTRATION- Section 4 of the Act (2 U.S.C. 1603) is amended--

          (i) in subsection (a)(3)(A)(i), by striking `$5,000' and inserting `$2,500';

          (ii) in subsection (a)(3)(A)(ii), by striking `$20,000' and inserting `$10,000';

          (iii) in subsection (b)(3)(A), by striking `$10,000' and inserting `$5,000'; and

          (iv) in subsection (b)(4), by striking `$10,000' and inserting `$5,000'.

        (B) REPORTS- Section 5 of the Act (2 U.S.C. 1604) is amended--

          (i) in subsection (c)(1), by striking `$10,000' and `$20,000' and inserting `$5,000' and `$10,000', respectively; and

          (ii) in subsection (c)(2), by striking `$10,000' both places such term appears and inserting `$5,000'.

SEC. 102. ELECTRONIC FILING OF LOBBYING DISCLOSURE REPORTS.

    Section 5 of the Act (2 U.S.C. 1604) is amended by adding at the end the following:

    `(d) Electronic Filing Required- A report required to be filed under this section shall be filed in electronic form, in addition to any other form that may be required by the Secretary of the Senate or the Clerk of the House of Representatives.'.

SEC. 103. PUBLIC DATABASE OF LOBBYING DISCLOSURE INFORMATION.

    (a) Database Required- Section 6 of the Act (2 U.S.C. 1605) is amended--

      (1) in paragraph (7), by striking `and' at the end;

      (2) in paragraph (8), by striking the period and inserting `; and'; and

      (3) by adding at the end the following:

      `(9) maintain, and make available to the public over the Internet, without a fee or other access charge, in a searchable, sortable, and downloadable manner, an electronic database that--

        `(A) includes the information contained in registrations and reports filed under this Act;

        `(B) directly links the information it contains to the information disclosed in reports filed with the Federal Election Commission under section 304 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 434); and

        `(C) is searchable and sortable, at a minimum, by each of the categories of information described in section 4(b) or 5(b).'.

    (b) Availability of Reports- Section 6(4) of the Act is amended by inserting before the semicolon the following: `and, in the case of a report filed in electronic form pursuant to section 5(d), shall make such report available for public inspection over the Internet not more than 48 hours after the report is filed'.

    (c) Authorization of Appropriations- There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out paragraph (9) of section 6 of the Act, as added by subsection (a).

SEC. 104. DISCLOSURE BY REGISTERED LOBBYISTS OF ALL PAST EXECUTIVE AND CONGRESSIONAL EMPLOYMENT.

    Section 4(b)(6) of the Act (2 U.S.C. 1603) is amended by striking `or a covered legislative branch official' and all that follows through `as a lobbyist on behalf of the client,' and inserting `or a covered legislative branch official,'.

SEC. 105. DISCLOSURE OF GRASSROOTS ACTIVITIES BY PAID LOBBYISTS.

    (a) Disclosure of Grassroots Activities- Section 3 of the Act (2 U.S.C. 1602) is amended--

      (1) in paragraph (2), by inserting `or grassroots lobbying activities' after `lobbying activities' both places it appears; and

      (2) by adding at the end the following new paragraphs--

      `(17) GRASSROOTS LOBBYING- The term `grassroots lobbying'--

        `(A) means any attempt to influence the general public, or segments thereof, to engage in lobbying contacts whether or not those contacts were made on behalf of a client; and

        `(B) does not include any attempt described in subparagraph (A) by a person or entity directed to its members, employees, officers or shareholders, unless such attempt is financed with funds directly or indirectly received from or arranged by a retained registrant.

      `(18) GRASSROOTS LOBBYIST- The term `grassroots lobbyist' means any individual who is retained by a client for financial or other compensation for services to engage in grassroots lobbying.

      `(19) GRASSROOTS LOBBYING FIRM- The term `grassroots lobbying firm'--

        `(A) means a person or entity that has 1 or more employees who are grassroots lobbyists on behalf of a client other than that person or entity; and

        `(B) includes a self-employed individual who is a grassroots lobbyist.

      `(20) GRASSROOTS LOBBYING ACTIVITIES- The term `grassroots lobbying activities' means grassroots lobbying and efforts in support of grassroots lobbying, including preparation and planning activities, research and other background work that is intended, at the time it is performed, for use in grassroots lobbying, and coordination with the lobbying activities or grassroots lobbying activities of others.

      `(21) LEADERSHIP PAC- The term `leadership PAC' means, with respect to an individual holding Federal office, an unauthorized political committee which is associated with such individual.'.

    (b) Registration- Section 4(a) of the Act (2 U.S.C. 1603(a)) is amended--

      (1) in paragraph (1), by striking `45' and inserting `20';

      (2) by redesignating paragraph (3) as paragraph (4);

      (3) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following:

      `(3) GRASSROOTS LOBBYING- Not later than 20 days after a grassroots lobbying firm first is retained by a client to engage in grassroots lobbying, such grassroots lobbying firm shall register with the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives.'; and

      (4) in paragraph (4)(A), as redesignated--

        (A) by striking `paragraphs (1) and (2)' and inserting `paragraphs (1), (2), and (3)'; and

        (B) in clause (i), by inserting `and grassroots lobbying activities' after `lobbying activities'.

    (c) Separate Itemization of Grassroots Expenses- Section 5(b) of the Act (2 U.S.C. 1604(b)) is amended--

      (1) in paragraph (3), by--

        (A) inserting after `total amount of all income' the following: `(including a separate good faith estimate of the total amount relating specifically to grassroots lobbying activities and, within that amount, a good faith estimate of the total amount specifically relating to grassroots lobbying through paid advertising)';

        (B) inserting `or a grassroots lobbying firm' after `lobbying firm';

        (C) inserting `or grassroots lobbying activities' after `lobbying activities' both places it appears; and

        (D) striking `and' after the semicolon;

      (2) in paragraph (4), by--

        (A) inserting after `total expenses' the following: `(including a separate good faith estimate of the total amount relating specifically to grassroots lobbying activities and, within that total amount, a separate good faith estimate of the total amount specifically relating to grassroots lobbying through paid advertising)';

        (B) inserting `or grassroots lobbying activities' after `lobbying activities' both places it appears; and

        (C) striking the period and inserting `; and'; and

      (3) by adding at the end the following:

      `(5) in the case of a grassroots lobbying firm, for each client--

        `(A) a list of the specific issues upon which the registrant engaged in grassroots lobbying activities, including, to the maximum extent practicable, a list of bill numbers and references to specific executive branch activities;

        `(B) the total disbursements made for grassroots lobbying activities, and a subtotal for disbursements made for grassroots lobbying through paid advertising;

        `(C) identification of each person or entity who received a disbursement of funds for grassroots lobbying activities of $10,000 or more during the period and the total amount each person or entity received; and

        `(D) if such disbursements are made through a person or entity who serves as an intermediary or conduit, identification of each such intermediary or conduit, identification of the person or entity who receives the funds, and the total amount each such person or entity received.'.

    (d) Large Grassroots Expenditure- Section 5(a) of the Act (2 U.S.C. 1604(a)) is amended--

      (1) by striking `No later' and inserting `Except as provided in paragraph (2), not later'; and

      (2) by adding at the end the following:

      `(2) LARGE GRASSROOTS EXPENDITURE- A registrant that is a grassroots lobbying firm and that receives income of, or spends or agrees to spend, an aggregate amount of $250,000 or more on grassroots lobbying activities for a client, or for a group of clients for a joint effort, shall file--

        `(A) a report under this section not later than 20 days after receiving, spending, or agreeing to spend that amount; and

        `(B) an additional report not later than 20 days after each time such lobbyist or lobbying firm receives income of, or spends or agrees to spend, an aggregate amount of $250,000 or more on grassroots lobbying activities for a client, or for a group of clients for a joint effort.'.

SEC. 106. DISCLOSURE OF LOBBYIST CONTRIBUTIONS AND PAYMENTS.

    Section 5(b) of the Act (2 U.S.C. 1604(b)) is amended--

      (1) in paragraph (4), by striking `and' after the semicolon;

      (2) in paragraph (5), by striking the period and inserting a semicolon; and

      (3) by adding at the end the following:

      `(6) for each registrant (and for any political committee, as defined in 301(4) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431(4)), affiliated with such registrant), and for each employee listed as a lobbyist by a registrant under paragraph (2)(C)--

        `(A) the name of each Federal candidate or officeholder, leadership PAC, or political party committee, to whom a contribution was made, and the date and amount of such contribution; and

        `(B) the name of each Federal candidate or officeholder, or a leadership PAC of such candidate or officeholder, or political party committee for whom a fundraising event was hosted, cohosted, or otherwise sponsored, the date and location of the event, and the total amount raised by the event;

      `(7) the name of each covered legislative branch official or covered executive branch official for whom the registrant or employee listed as a lobbyist provided, or directed or arranged to be provided, any payment or reimbursements for travel and related expenses in connection with the duties of such covered official, including for each such official--

        `(A) an itemization of the payments or reimbursements provided to finance the travel and related expenses and to whom the payments or reimbursements were made, including any payment or reimbursement made with the express or implied understanding or agreement that such funds will be used for travel and related expenses;

        `(B) the purpose and final itinerary of the trip, including a description of all meetings, tours, events, and outings attended;

        `(C) the names of any registrant or individual employed by the registrant who traveled on any such trip;

        `(D) the identity of official or listed sponsor of travel; and

        `(E) the identity of any person or entity, other than the listed sponsor of the travel, which directly or indirectly provided for payment of travel and related expenses at the request or suggestion of the registrant or the employee;

      `(8) the date, recipient, and amount of funds contributed or disbursed by, or arranged by, a registrant or employee listed as a lobbyist--

        `(A) to pay the costs of an event to honor or recognize a covered legislative branch official or covered executive branch official;

        `(B) to, or on behalf of, an entity that is named for a covered legislative branch official or covered executive branch official, or to a person or entity in recognition of such official;

        `(C) to an entity established, financed, maintained, or controlled by a covered legislative branch official or covered executive branch official, or an entity designated by such official; or

        `(D) to pay the costs of a meeting, retreat, conference or other similar event held by, or for the benefit of, 1 or more covered legislative branch officials or covered executive branch officials;

      except that this paragraph shall not apply to any payment or reimbursement made from funds required to be reported under section 304 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 434); and

      `(9) the date, recipient, and amount of any gift (that under the rules of the House of Representatives or Senate counts towards the one hundred dollar cumulative annual limit described in such rules) valued in excess of $20 given by a registrant or employee listed as a lobbyist to a covered legislative branch official or covered executive branch official.

    For purposes of paragraph (9), the term `gift' means a gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, forbearance, or other item having monetary value. The term includes gifts of services, training, transportation, lodging, and meals, whether provided in kind, by purchase of a ticket, payment in advance, or reimbursement after the expense has been incurred.'.

SEC. 107. INCREASED PENALTY FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH LOBBYING DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS.

    Section 7 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1606) is amended by striking `$50,000' and inserting `$100,000'.

SEC. 108. DISCLOSURE OF LOBBYING ACTIVITIES BY CERTAIN COALITIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS.

    (a) In General- Paragraph (2) of section 3 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1602) is amended to read as follows:

      `(2) CLIENT-

        `(A) IN GENERAL- The term `client' means any person or entity that employs or retains another person for financial or other compensation to conduct lobbying activities or grassroots lobbying activities on behalf of that person or entity. A person or entity whose employees act as lobbyists on its own behalf if both a client and an employer of such employees.

        `(B) TREATMENT OF COALITIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS-

          `(i) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in clause (ii), in the case of a coalition or association of 2 or more groups that retains a person to conduct lobbying activities or grassroots lobbying activities, each group whose total contribution to the coalition or association in connection with the lobbying activities or grassroots lobbying activities exceeds an aggregate of $10,000 during the reporting period is the client along with the coalition or association.

          `(ii) EXCEPTION FOR CERTAIN TAX EXEMPT ASSOCIATIONS- In the case of an association which is described in any paragraph of section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from tax under section 501(a) of such Code, the association (and not its members) shall be treated as the client.

          `(iii) MEMBERSHIP- Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to require the disclosure of any information about the members of, or donors to, a group which is treated as a client by this provision.'.

TITLE II--SLOWING THE REVOLVING DOOR

SEC. 201. AMENDMENTS TO RESTRICTIONS ON FORMER OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AND ELECTED OFFICIALS OF THE EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE BRANCHES.

    (a) Very Senior Executive Personnel- The matter after subparagraph (C) in section 207(d)(1) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking `within 1 year' and inserting `within 2 years'.

    (b) Members of Congress, Officers, and Employees of the Legislative Branch- Section 207(e) of title 18, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) in paragraph (1)(A), by striking `within 1 year' and inserting `within 2 years';

      (2) in paragraph (2)(A), by striking `within 1 year' and inserting `within 2 years';

      (3) in paragraph (3), by striking `within 1 year' and inserting `within 2 years'; and

      (4) in paragraph (4)(A), by striking `within 1 year' and inserting `within 2 years'.

SEC. 202. ADDITIONAL EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS.

    (a) In General- Section 104 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450i) is amended by striking subsection (j) and inserting the following:

    `(j) Additional Employment Rights-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding sections 205 and 207 of title 18, United States Code, an officer or employee of the United States assigned to an Indian tribe under section 3372 of title 5, United States Code, or section 2072 of the Revised Statutes (25 U.S.C. 48), or an individual that was formerly an officer or employee of the United States and who is an employee of an Indian tribe employed to perform services pursuant to self-governance contracts or compacts under this Act that the individual formerly performed for the United States, may communicate with and appear before any department, agency, court, or commission on behalf of the Indian tribe with respect to any matter relating to the contract or compact, including any matter in which the United States is a party or has a direct and substantial interest.

      `(2) NOTIFICATION OF INVOLVEMENT IN PENDING MATTER- An officer, employee, or former officer or employee described in paragraph (1) shall submit to the head of each appropriate department, agency, court, or commission, in writing, a notification of any personal and substantial involvement the officer, employee, or former officer or employee had as an officer or employee of the United States with respect to the pending matter.'.

    (b) Effective Date- The effective date of the amendment made by this section shall be the date that is 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 203. PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS OF EMPLOYMENT NEGOTIATIONS.

    (a) House of Representatives- The Code of Official Conduct set forth in rule XXIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives is amended by redesignating clause 14 as clause 15 and by inserting after clause 13 the following new clause:

    `14. A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner shall file with the Clerk of the House of Representatives for public disclosure, a statement that he or she is negotiating or has any arrangement concerning prospective employment if a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest may exist. Such statement shall be made within 3 days after the commencement of such negotiation or arrangement.'.

    (b) Senate- Rule XXXVII of the Standing Rules of the Senate is amended by adding at the end the following:

    `13. A Member shall file with the Secretary of the Senate, for public disclosure, a statement that he or she is negotiating or has any arrangement concerning prospective employment if a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest may exist. Such statement shall be made within 3 days after the commencement of such negotiation or arrangement.'.

TITLE III--CURBING EXCESSES IN PRIVATELY FUNDED TRAVEL AND LOBBYIST GIFTS

SEC. 301. REQUIREMENT OF FULL PAYMENT AND DISCLOSURE OF CHARTER FLIGHTS.

    (a) House of Representatives-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Clause 5(a)(3)(A) of rule XXV of the Standing Rules of the House of Representatives is amended by--

        (A) inserting `(1)' after `(A)'; and

        (B) adding at the end the following:

      `(2) Market value for a flight on an airplane that is not licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration to operate for compensation or hire shall be the fair market value of a charter flight. The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct shall make public information received under this subparagraph as soon as possible after it is received.'.

      (2) DISCLOSURE- Clause 5 of Rule XXV of the Standing Rules of the House of Representatives is amended by adding at the end the following:

    `(g) A Member, officer, or employee who takes a flight described in paragraph (a)(3)(A)(2) shall, with respect to the flight, file a report with the Clerk of the House of Representatives for public disclosure within 10 days after the flight--

      `(1) the date of the flight;

      `(2) the destination of the flight who else was on the flight, other than those operating the plane; and

      `(3) the purpose of the trip.'.

    (b) Senate-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Paragraph 1(c)(1) of rule XXXV of the Standing Rules of the Senate is amended by--

        (A) inserting `(A)' after `(1)'; and

        (B) adding at the end the following:

      `(B) Market value for a flight on an airplane that is not licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration to operate for compensation or hire shall be the fair market value of a charter flight. The Select Committee on Ethics shall make public information received under this subparagraph as soon as possible after it is received.'.

      (2) DISCLOSURE- Paragraph 1 of rule XXXV of the Standing Rules of the Senate is amended by adding at the end the following:

    `(h) A Member, officer, or employee who takes a flight described in subparagraph (c)(1)(B) shall, with respect to the flight, file a report with the Secretary of the Senate for public disclosure within 10 days after the flight--

      `(1) the date of the flight;

      `(2) the destination of the flight;

      `(3) who else was on the flight, other than those operating the plane; and

      `(4) the purpose of the trip.'.

    (c) Candidates- Subparagraph (B) of section 301(8) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (42 U.S.C. 431(8)(B)) is amended by--

      (1) in clause (xiii), striking `and' at the end;

      (2) in clause (xiv), by striking the period and inserting `; and'; and

      (3) by adding at the end the following :

          `(xv) any travel expense for a flight on an airplane that is not licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration to operate for compensation or hire, but only if the candidate or the candidate's authorized committee or other political committee pays within 7 days after the date of the flight to the owner, lessee, or other person who provides the use of the airplane an amount not less than the normal and usual charter fare or rental charge for a comparable commercial airplane of appropriate size.'.

SEC. 302. VALUATION OF TICKETS TO SPORTING AND ENTERTAINMENT EVENTS.

    (a) In General- For a covered executive branch official, a gift of a ticket to a sporting or entertainment event shall be valued at the face value of the ticket, provided that in the case of a ticket without a face value, the ticket shall be valued at the highest cost of a ticket with a face value for the event.

    (b) Senate- Paragraph 1(b)(1) of Rule XXXV of the Standing Rules of the Senate is amended by--

      (1) inserting `(A)' after `(1)'; and

      (2) adding at the end the following:

        `(B) A gift of a ticket to a sporting or entertainment event shall be valued at the face value of the ticket, provided that in the case of a ticket without a face value, the ticket shall be valued at the highest cost of a ticket with a face value for the event.'.

    (c) House- Clause 5(a)(2)(A) of Rule XXV of the Standing Rules of the House of Representatives is amended by--

      (1) inserting `(i)' after `(A)'; and

      (2) adding at the end the following:

          `(ii) A gift of a ticket to a sporting or entertainment event shall be valued at the face value of the ticket, provided that in the case of a ticket without a face value, the ticket shall be valued at the highest cost of a ticket with a face value for the event.'.

SEC. 303. BAN ON PRIVATELY-FUNDED TRAVEL.

    Clause 5 of rule XXV of the Rules of the House of Representatives is amended by adding at the end the following:

    `(g) Notwithstanding any other provision of this clause, no Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House may accept a gift of travel (including any transportation, lodging, and meals during such travel) from any private source.'.

TITLE IV--OVERSIGHT OF ETHICS AND LOBBYING

SEC. 401. COMPTROLLER GENERAL REVIEW AND SEMIANNUAL REPORTS.

    (a) Ongoing Review Required- The Comptroller General shall review on an ongoing basis the activities carried out by the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate under section 6 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1605). The review shall emphasize--

      (1) the effectiveness of those activities in securing the compliance by lobbyists with the requirements of that Act; and

      (2) whether the Clerk and the Secretary have the resources and authorities needed for effective oversight and enforcement of that Act.

    (b) Semiannual Reports- Twice yearly, not later than January 1 and not later than July 1 of each year, the Comptroller General shall submit to Congress a report on the review required by subsection (a). The report shall include the Comptroller General's assessment of the matters required to be emphasized by that subsection and any recommendations of the Comptroller General to--

      (1) improve the compliance by lobbyists with the requirements of that Act; and

      (2) provide the Clerk and the Secretary with the resources and authorities needed for effective oversight and enforcement of that Act.

TITLE V--HOUSE RULES CHANGES

SEC. 501. EARMARKS.

    Rule XXI of the Rules of the House of Representatives is amended by adding at the end the following new clause:

    `7. It shall not be in order to consider a general appropriation bill, a bill making supplemental appropriations, or a joint resolution continuing appropriations, or amendment thereto or conference report thereon, if--

      `(1) the report accompanying such bill or joint resolution or the joint explanatory statement of managers accompanying a conference report on the bill or joint resolution contains any earmarks; or

      `(2) such bill or joint resolution contains any earmark and does not set forth the name of the Member requesting the earmark and the congressional district that contains the subject of the earmark.'.

SEC. 502. THREE-DAY LAYOVER REQUIREMENT.

    Clause 8(a)(1)(A) of the Rules of the House of Representatives is amended by inserting `and on the Internet to the general public' before the semicolon.

TITLE VI--POLITICAL ADVOCACY

SEC. 601. PROHIBITION ON THE USE OF FEDERAL FUNDS FOR POLITICAL ADVOCACY.

    (a) LIMITATIONS- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the following limitations apply to any grant which is made from funds appropriated under this or any other Act or controlled under any congressional authorization until Congress provides specific exceptions in subsequent Acts:

      (1) No grantee may use funds from any grant to engage in political advocacy.

      (2) No grant applicant may receive any grant if its expenditures for political advocacy for any one of the previous five Federal fiscal years exceeded its prohibited political advocacy threshold (but no Federal fiscal year before 1996 shall be considered). For purposes of this title, the prohibited political advocacy threshold for a given Federal fiscal year is to be determined by the following formula:

        (A) calculate the difference between the grant applicant's total expenditures made in a given Federal fiscal year and the total grants it received in that Federal fiscal year;

        (B) for the first $20,000,000 of the difference calculated in (A), multiply by .05;

        (C) for the remainder of the difference calculated in (A), multiply by .01;

        (D) the sum of the products described in (B) and (C) equals the prohibited political advocacy threshold.

      (3) During any one Federal fiscal year in which a grantee has possession, custody or control of grant funds, the grantee shall not use any funds (whether derived from grants or otherwise) to engage in political advocacy in excess of its prohibited political advocacy threshold for the prior Federal fiscal year.

      (4) No grantee may use funds from any grant to purchase or secure any goods or services (including dues and membership fees) from any other individual, entity, or organization whose expenditures for political advocacy for the previous Federal fiscal year exceeded 15 percent of its total expenditures for that Federal fiscal year.

      (5) No grantee may use funds from any grant for any purpose (including but not limited to extending subsequent grants to any other individual, entity, or organization) other than to purchase or secure goods or services, except as specifically permitted by Congress in the law authorizing the grant.

      (6) Any individual, entity, or organization that awards or administers a grant shall take reasonable steps to ensure that the grantee complies with the requirements of this title. Reasonable steps to ensure compliance shall include written notice to a grantee that it is receiving a grant, and that the provisions of this title apply to the grantee.

    (b) ENFORCEMENT- The following enforcement provisions apply with respect to the limitations imposed under subsection (a):

      (1) Each grantee shall be subject to audit from time to time as follows:

        (A) Audits may be requested and conducted by the General Accounting Office or other auditing entity authorized by Congress, including the inspector general of the Federal entity awarding or administering the grant.

        (B) Grantees shall follow generally accepted accounting principles in keeping books and records relating to each grant and no Federal entity may impose more burdensome accounting requirements for purposes of enforcing this title.

        (C) A grantee that engages in political advocacy shall have the burden of proving, by clear and convincing evidence, that it is in compliance with the limitations of this section.

      (2) Violations by a grantee of the limitations contained in subsection (a) may be enforced and the grant may be recovered in the same manner and to the same extent as a false or fraudulent claim for payment or approval made to the Federal Government pursuant to sections 3729 through 3812 of title 31, United States Code.

      (3) Any officer or employee of the Federal Government who awards or administers funds from any grant to a grantee who is not in compliance with this section shall--

        (A) for knowing or negligent noncompliance with this section, be subjected to appropriate administrative discipline, including, when circumstances warrant, suspension from duty without pay or removal from office; and

        (B) for knowing noncompliance with this section, pay a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 for each improper disbursement of funds.

    (c) DEFINITIONS- For purposes of this title:

      (1) POLITICAL ADVOCACY- The term `political advocacy' includes--

        (A) carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation or agency action, including, but not limited to monetary or in-kind contributions, endorsements, publicity, or similar activity;

        (B) participating or intervening in (including the publishing or distributing of statements) any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office, including but not limited to monetary or in-kind contributions, endorsements, publicity, or similar activity;

        (C) participating in any judicial litigation or agency proceeding (including as an amicus curiae) in which agents or instrumentalities of Federal, State, or local governments are parties, other than litigation in which the grantee or grant applicant: is a defendant appearing in its own behalf; is defending its tax-exempt status; or is challenging a government decision or action directed specifically at the powers, rights, or duties of that grantee or grant applicant; and

        (D) allocating, disbursing, or contributing any funds or in-kind support to any individual, entity or organization whose expenditures for political advocacy for the previous Federal fiscal year exceeded 15 percent of its total expenditures for that Federal fiscal year.

      (2) INFLUENCE LEGISLATION OR AGENCY ACTION-

        (A) GENERAL RULE- Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (B), the term `influence legislation or agency action' includes--

          (i) any attempt to influence any legislation or agency action through an attempt to affect the opinions of the general public or any segment thereof, and

          (ii) any attempt to influence any legislation or agency action through communication with any member or employee of a legislative body or agency, or with any government official or employee who may participate in the formulation of the legislation or agency action.

        (B) EXCEPTIONS- The term `influence legislation or agency action' does not include--

          (i) making available the results of nonpartisan analysis, study, research, or debate;

          (ii) providing technical advice or assistance (where such advice would otherwise constitute the influencing of legislation or agency action) to a governmental body or to a committee or other subdivision thereof in response to a written request by such body or subdivision, as the case may be;

          (iii) communications between the grantee and its bona fide members with respect to legislation, proposed legislation, agency action, or proposed agency action of direct interest to the grantee and such members, other than communications described in subparagraph (C);

          (iv) any communication with a governmental official or employee; other than--

            (I) a communication with a member or employee of a legislative body or agency (where such communication would otherwise constitute the influencing of legislation or agency action); or

            (II) a communication the principal purpose of which is to influence legislation or agency action; and

          (v) official communications by employees of State or local governments, or by organizations whose membership consists exclusively of State or local governments.

        (C) Communications with members-

          (i) A communication between a grantee and any bona fide member of such organization to directly encourage such member to communicate as provided in paragraph (2)(A)(ii) shall be treated as a (2)(A)(ii) communication by the grantee itself.

          (ii) A communication between a grantee and any bona fide member of such organization to directly encourage such member to urge persons other than members to communicate as provided in either clause (i) or (ii) of paragraph (2)(A) shall be treated as a communication described in paragraph (2)(A)(i).

      (3) The term `legislation' includes the introduction, amendment, enactment, passage, defeat, ratification, or repeal of Acts, bills, resolutions, treaties, declarations, confirmations, articles of impeachment, or similar items by the Congress, any State legislature, any local council or similar governing body, or by the public in a referendum, initiative, constitutional amendment, recall, confirmation, or similar procedure.

      (4) The term `grant' includes the provision of any Federal funds, appropriated under this or any other Act, or other thing of value to carry out a public purpose of the United States, except: the provision of funds for acquisition (by purchase, lease or barter) of property or services for the direct benefit or use of the United States, or the payments of loans, debts, or entitlements; or the provision of funds to an Article I or III court.

      (5) The term `grantee' includes any recipient of any grant. The term shall not include any state or local government, but shall include any recipient receiving a grant (as defined by subsection c(4)) from a state or local government.

      (6) The term `agency action' includes the definition contained in section 551 of Title 5, United States Code, and includes action by state or local government agencies.

      (7) The term `agency proceeding' includes the definition contained in section 551 of Title 5, United States Code, and includes proceedings by state or local government agencies.

SEC. 602. DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS.

    (a) Not later than December 31 of each year, a grantee shall provide (via either electronic or paper medium) to each Federal entity that awarded or administered its grant an annual report for the prior Federal fiscal year, certified by the grantee's chief executive officer or equivalent person of authority, and setting forth: the grantee's name, the grantee's identification number, and--

      (1) a statement that the grantee did not engage in political advocacy; or,

      (2) a statement that the grantee did engage in political advocacy, and setting forth for each grant--

        (A) the grant identification number;

        (B) the amount or value of the grant (including all administrative and overhead costs awarded);

        (C) a brief description of the purpose or purposes for which the grant was awarded;

        (D) the identity of each Federal, state and local government entity awarding or administering the grant, and program thereunder;

        (E) the name and grantee identification number of each individual, entity, or organization to whom the grantee made a grant;

        (F) a brief description of the grantee's political advocacy, and a good faith estimate of the grantee's expenditures on political advocacy;

        (G) a good faith estimate of the grantee's prohibited political advocacy threshold.

    (b) OMB COORDINATION- The Office of Management and Budget shall develop by regulation one standardized form for the annual report that shall be accepted by every Federal entity, and a uniform procedure by which each grantee is assigned one permanent and unique grantee identification number.

SEC. 603. FEDERAL ENTITY REPORT.

    Not later than May 1 of each calendar year, each Federal entity awarding or administering a grant shall submit to the Bureau of the Census a report (standardized by the Office of Management and Budget) setting forth the information provided to such Federal entity by each grantee during the preceding Federal fiscal year, and the name and grantee identification number of each grantee to whom it provided written notice under section 601(a)(6). The Bureau of the Census shall make this database available to the public through the Internet.

SEC. 604. PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY.

    (a) Any Federal entity awarding a grant shall make publicly available any grant application, audit of a grantee, list of grantees to whom notice was provided under section 601(a)(6), annual report of a grantee, and that Federal entity's annual report to the Bureau of the Census.

    (b) The public's access to the documents identified in section 604(a) shall be facilitated by placement of such documents in the Federal entity's public document reading room and also by expediting any requests under section 552 of title 5, United States Code, the Freedom of Information Act as amended, ahead of any requests for other information pending at such Federal entity.

    (c) Records described in section (a) shall not be subject to withholding except under exemption (b)(7)(A) of section 552 of title 5, United States Code.

    (d) No fees for searching for or copying such documents shall be charged to the public.

SEC. 605. SEVERABILITY.

    If any provision of this title or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of this title and the application of such provision to other persons and circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

SEC. 606. FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS PRESERVED.

    Nothing in this title shall be deemed to abridge any rights guaranteed under the first amendment of the United States Constitution, including freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.