< Back to S. 1398 (109th Congress, 2005–2006)

Text of the Lobbying and Ethics Reform Act of 2005

This bill was introduced on July 14, 2005, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jul 14, 2005 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

II

109th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1398

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

July 14, 2005

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

A BILL

To provide more rigorous requirements with respect to ethics and lobbying.

1.

Short title; table of contents

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Lobbying and Ethics Reform Act of 2005.

(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. Identification of officials with whom lobbying contacts are made.

Sec. 105. Disclosure by registered lobbyists of all past executive and congressional employment.

Sec. 106. Disclosure of grassroots activities by paid lobbyists.

Sec. 107. Disclosure of lobbying activities by certain coalitions and associations.

Sec. 108. Increased penalty for failure to comply with lobbying disclosure requirements.

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. Reform of waiver process for acts affecting a personal financial interest.

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

Sec. 204. Wrongfully influencing, on a partisan basis, an entity’s employment decisions or practices.

Sec. 205. Amendment to Code of Official Conduct to prohibit favoritism.

Sec. 206. Elimination of floor privileges and other perks for former Member lobbyists.

TITLE III—Curbing excesses in privately funded travel and lobbyist gifts

Sec. 301. Required certification that congressional travel meets certain conditions.

Sec. 302. Requirement of full payment and disclosure of charter flights.

Sec. 303. False certification in connection with congressional travel.

Sec. 304. Increased disclosure of travel by Members.

Sec. 305. Guidelines respecting travel expenses.

Sec. 306. Prohibition on gifts by registered lobbyists to Members of Congress and to congressional employees.

Sec. 307. Prohibition on members accepting gifts from lobbyists.

TITLE IV—Oversight of ethics and lobbying

Sec. 401. Comptroller General review and semiannual report on activities carried out by Clerk of the House and Secretary of the Senate under Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995.

I

Enhancing lobbying disclosure

101.

Quarterly filing of lobbying disclosure reports

(a)

Quarterly filing required

Section 5 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (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 of such Act (2 U.S.C. 1602) is amended in paragraph (10) by striking six month period and inserting three-month period.

(2)

Registration

Section 4 of such 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 of such Act (2 U.S.C. 1605) is amended in paragraph (6) by striking semiannual period and inserting quarterly period.

(4)

Estimates

Section 15 of such 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)

Section 4 of such Act (2 U.S.C. 1603) is further 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)

Section 5 of such Act (2 U.S.C. 1604) is further 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.

102.

Electronic filing of lobbying disclosure reports

Section 5 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1604) is further amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(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.

.

103.

Public database of lobbying disclosure information

(a)

Database required

Section 6 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1605) is further amended—

(1)

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

(2)

in paragraph (8), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and

(3)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(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 of such Act is further amended in paragraph (4) by inserting before the semicolon at the end 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 so 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 such Act, as added by subsection (a).

104.

Identification of officials with whom lobbying contacts are made

Section 5 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1604) is further amended in subsection (b)(2)—

(1)

by redesignating subparagraphs (B) through (D) as subparagraphs (C) through (E), respectively; and

(2)

by inserting after subparagraph (A) the following new subparagraph:

(B)

for each specific issue listed pursuant to subparagraph (A), a list identifying each covered executive branch official and each Member of Congress with whom a lobbyist employed by the registrant engaged in a lobbying contact through oral communication with respect to that issue and the date on which each such contact occurred.

.

105.

Disclosure by registered lobbyists of all past executive and congressional employment

Section 4 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1603) is further amended in subsection (b)(6) 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,.

106.

Disclosure of grassroots activities by paid lobbyists

(a)

Disclosure of grassroots activities

Section 3 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1602) is further amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(17)

Grassroots lobbying communication

The term grassroots lobbying communication means an attempt to influence legislation or executive action through the use of mass communications directed to the general public and designed to encourage recipients to take specific action with respect to legislation or executive action, except that such term does not include any communications by an entity directed to its members, employees, officers, or shareholders. For purposes of this paragraph, a communication is designed to encourage a recipient if any of the following applies:

(A)

The communication states that the recipient should contact a legislator, or should contact an officer or employee of an executive agency.

(B)

The communication provides the address, phone number, and contact information of a legislator or of an officer or employee of an executive agency.

(C)

The communication provides a petition, tear-off postcard, or similar material for the recipient to send to a legislator or to an officer or employee of an executive agency.

(D)
(i)

Subject to clause (ii), the communication specifically identifies an individual who—

(I)

is in a position to consider or vote on the legislation;

(II)

represents the recipient in Congress; or

(III)

is an officer or employee of the executive agency to which the legislation or executive action relates.

(ii)

A communication described in clause (i) is a grassroots lobbying communication only if it is a communication that cannot meet the full and fair exposition test as nonpartisan analysis, study, or research.

.

(b)

Separate itemization of grassroots expenses

Section 5 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1604) is further amended in subsection (b)—

(1)

in paragraph (3), by inserting after total amount of all income the following: (including an itemization of the total amount relating specifically to grassroots lobbying communications and, within that amount, an itemization of the total amount specifically relating to broadcast media grassroots lobbying communications); and

(2)

in paragraph (4), by inserting after total expenses the following: (including an itemization of the total amount relating specifically to grassroots lobbying communications and, within that total amount, an itemization of the total amount specifically relating to broadcast media grassroots lobbying communications).

107.

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 on behalf of that person or entity. A person or entity whose employees act as lobbyists on its own behalf is 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 that employs or retains persons to conduct lobbying activities, each person, other than an individual who is a member of the coalition or association, whose total contribution to the coalition or association in connection with the lobbying activities exceeds the $10,000 registration threshold described in section 4(a)(3)(A)(ii) of this Act, is the client along with the coalition or association.

(ii)

Exception for certain tax-exempt associations

In case of an association—

(I)

which is described in paragraph (3) of section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from tax under section 501(a) of such Code, or

(II)

which is described in any other paragraph of section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from tax under section 501(a) of such Code and which has substantial exempt activities other than lobbying,

the association (and not its members) shall be treated as the client.
(iii)

Look-thru rules

A coalition or association and its members, which would otherwise be treated as a client, shall not avoid the registration and reporting requirements of this Act by employing or retaining another coalition or association to conduct lobbying activities.

.

(b)

Effective date

(1)

In general

The amendments made by this section shall apply to—

(A)

coalitions and associations listed on registration statements filed under section 4 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1603) after the date of the enactment of this Act, and

(B)

coalitions and associations for whom any lobbying contact is made after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(2)

Special rule

In the case of any coalition or association to which the amendments made by this Act apply by reason of paragraph (1)(B), the person required by such section 4 to file a registration statement with respect to such coalition or association shall file a new registration statement within 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

108.

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.

II

Slowing the revolving door

201.

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

(a)

Very senior executive personnel

(1)

In general

The matter after subparagraph (C) in section 207(d)(1) of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

and who, within 2 years after the termination of that person's service in that position, engages in lobbying activities directed at any person described in paragraph (2), on behalf of any other person (except the United States), shall be punished as provided in section 216 of this title..
(2)

Conforming amendment

The first sentence of section 207(h)(1) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after subsection (c) the following: and subsection (d).

(b)

Senior executive personnel

Section 207(c)(1) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking within 1 year after and inserting within 2 years after.

(c)

Former Members of Congress and officers and employees of the legislative branch

(1)

In general

Section 207(e) of title 18, United States Code, is amended—

(A)

by striking paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) and inserting the following:

(1)

Members of congress and elected officers

Any person who is a Member of Congress or an elected officer of either House of Congress and who, within 2 years after that person leaves office, knowingly engages in lobbying activities on behalf of any other person (except the United States) in connection with any matter on which such former Member of Congress or elected officer seeks action by a Member, officer, or employee of either House of Congress shall be punished as provided in section 216 of this title.

(2)

Congressional employees

(A)

In general

Any person who is an employee of the Senate or an employee of the House of Representatives, who, for at least 60 days, in the aggregate, during the 1-year period before the termination of employment of that person with the Senate or House of Representatives, was paid a rate of basic pay equal to or greater than an amount which is 75 percent of the basic rate of pay payable for a Member of the House of Congress in which such employee was employed, within 2 years after termination of such employment, knowingly makes, with the intent to influence, any communication to or appearance before any of the persons described in subparagraph (B), on behalf of any other person (except the United States) in connection with any matter on which such former employee seeks action by a Member, officer, or employee of either House of Congress, in his or her official capacity, shall be punished as provided in section 216 of this title.

(B)

Persons referred to

The persons referred to under subparagraph (A) with respect to appearances or communications by a former employee are any Member, officer, or employee of the House of Congress in which such former employee served.

;

(B)

in paragraph (6)—

(i)

in subparagraph (A), by striking paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) and inserting paragraph (2); and

(ii)

in subparagraph (B), by striking paragraph (5) and inserting paragraph (3);

(C)

in paragraph (7)(G), by striking , (2), (3), or (4) and inserting or (2); and

(D)

by redesignating paragraphs (5), (6), and (7) as paragraphs (3), (4), and (5), respectively.

(2)

Definition

Section 207(i) of title 18, United States Code, is amended—

(A)

in paragraph (2), by striking and after the semicolon;

(B)

in paragraph (3), by striking the period and inserting ; and; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following:

(4)

the term lobbying activities has the same meaning given such term in section 3(7) of the Lobbying Disclosure Act (2 U.S.C. 1602(7)).

.

202.

Reform of waiver process for acts affecting a personal financial interest

Section 208 of title 18, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in subsection (b)(1)—

(A)

by inserting after the Government official responsible for appointment to his or her position the following: and the Office of Government Ethics; and

(B)

by striking a written determination made by such official and inserting a written determination made by the Office of Government Ethics, after consultation with such official,; and

(2)

in subsection (b)(3), by striking the official responsible for the employee’s appointment, after review of and inserting the Office of Government Ethics, after consultation with the official responsible for the employee’s appointment and after review of; and

(3)

in subsection (d)(1)—

(A)

by striking Upon request and all that follows through Ethics in Government Act of 1978. and inserting In each case in which the Office of Government Ethics makes a determination granting an exemption under subsection (b)(1) or (b)(3) to a person, the Office shall, not later than 3 business days after making such determination, make available to the public pursuant to the procedures set forth in section 105 of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, and publish in the Federal Register, such determination and the materials submitted by such person in requesting such exemption.; and

(B)

by striking the agency may withhold and inserting the Office of Government Ethics may withhold.

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 publicly disclose the fact 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 disclosure 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, or former employee of Congress who, for at least 60 days, in the aggregate, during the 1-year period before the former employer's service as such employee terminated, was paid a rate of basic pay equal to or greater than an amount which is 75 percent of the basic rate of pay payable for a Member of the House of Congress in which such employee was employed, shall publicly disclose the fact 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 disclosure shall be made within 3 days after the commencement of such negotiation or arrangement.

.

204.

Wrongfully influencing, on a partisan basis, an entity’s employment decisions or practices

Whoever, being a Senator or Representative in, or a Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress or an employee of either House of Congress, with the intent to influence on the basis of political party affiliation an employment decision or employment practice of any private or public entity (except for the Congress)—

(1)

takes or withholds, or offers or threatens to take or withhold, an official act; or

(2)

influences, or offers or threatens to influence, the official act of another,

shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than 15 years, or both, and may be disqualified from holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.
205.

Amendment to Code of Official Conduct to prohibit favoritism

(a)

House of Representatives

Rule XXIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives (known as the Code of Official Conduct) is amended by redesignating clause 14 as clause 15 and by inserting after clause 13 the following new clause:

14.

A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House may not take or withhold, or threaten to take or withhold, any official action on the basis of partisan affiliation (except as permitted by clause 9) or the campaign contributions or support of any person or the prospect of personal gain either for oneself or any other person.

.

(b)

Senate

Rule XXXVII of the Standing Rules of the Senate is amended by adding at the end the following:

14.

A Member, officer, or employee may not take or withhold, or threaten to take or withhold, any official action on the basis of partisan affiliation or the campaign contributions or support of any person or the prospect of personal gain either for oneself or any other person.

.

206.

Elimination of floor privileges and other perks for former Member lobbyists

Notwithstanding any other rule of the House of Representatives or Senate, any benefit or privilege granted by the House of Representatives or the Senate to all former Members of that body, including floor privileges, may not be received or exercised by a former Member who is a registered lobbyist.

III

Curbing excesses in privately funded travel and lobbyist gifts

301.

Required certification that congressional travel meets certain conditions

(a)

House of Representatives

Clause 5 of rule XXV of the Rules of the House of Representatives is amended by redesignating paragraphs (e) and (f) as paragraphs (f) and (g), respectively, and by inserting after paragraph (d) the following new paragraph:

(e)
(1)

Except as provided by subparagraph (2), before a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House may accept a gift of transportation or lodging otherwise permissible under this clause from any person, such Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House, as applicable, shall obtain a written certification from such person (and provide a copy of such certification to the Clerk) that—

(A)

the trip was not planned, organized, arranged, or financed by a registered lobbyist or foreign agent and was not organized at the request of a registered lobbyist or foreign agent; and

(B)

the person did not accept, from any source, funds specifically earmarked for the purpose of financing the travel expenses.

The Clerk shall make public information received under this subparagraph as soon as possible after it is received.
(2)

A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner is not required to obtain a written certification for a gift or transportation or lodging described in subdivision (A), (B), (C), (D), (F), or (G) of paragraph (a)(1).

.

(b)

Senate

Paragraph 1 of rule XXXV of the Standing Rules of the Senate is amended by adding at the end the following:

(g)

Before a Member, officer, or employee may accept a gift of transportation or lodging otherwise permissible under this rule from any person, such Member, officer, or employee shall obtain a written certification from such person (and provide a copy of such certification to the Select Committee on Ethics) that—

(1)

the trip was not planned, organized, arranged, or financed by a registered lobbyist or foreign agent and was not organized at the request of a registered lobbyist or foreign agent;

(2)

registered lobbyists will not participate in or attend the trip; and

(3)

the person did not accept, from any source, funds specifically earmarked for the purpose of financing the travel expenses.

The Select Committee on Ethics shall make public information received under this subparagraph as soon as possible after it is received.

.

302.

Requirement of full payment and disclosure of charter flights

(a)

House of Representatives

To be provided.

(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 jet 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, cause to be published in the Congressional Record 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;

(4)

the purpose of the trip; and

(5)

the reason that a commercial airline was not used.

.

(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 striking and at the end of clause (xiii), by striking the period at the end of clause (xiv) and inserting ; and, and by adding at the end the following new clause:

(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.

.

303.

False certification in connection with congressional travel

(a)

In general

Whoever makes a false certification in connection with the travel of a Member, officer, or employee of either House of Congress (within the meaning given those terms in section 207 of title 18, United States Code) shall, upon proof of such offense by a preponderance of the evidence, be subject to a civil fine depending on the extent and gravity of the violation.

(b)

Maximum fine

The maximum fine per offense under this section depends on the number of separate trips in connection with which the person committed an offense under this section, as follows:

(1)

First trip

For each offense committed in connection with the first such trip, the amount of the fine shall be not more than $100,000 per offense.

(2)

Second trip

For each offense committed in connection with the second such trip, the amount of the fine shall be not more than $300,000 per offense.

(3)

Any other trips

For each offense committed in connection with any such trip after the second, the amount of the fine shall be not more than $500,000 per offense.

304.

Increased disclosure of travel by Members

(a)

House of representatives

Clause 5(b)(1)(A)(ii) of rule XXV of the Rules of the House of Representatives is amended by—

(1)

inserting a detailed description of each of before the expenses; and

(2)

inserting , including a description of all meetings, tours, events, and outings during such travel before the period at the end thereof.

(b)

Senate

Paragraph 2(c) of rule XXXV of the Standing Rules of the Senate is amended—

(1)

in subclause (5), by striking and after the semicolon;

(2)

by redesignating subclause (6) as subclause (7); and

(3)

by adding after subclause (5) the following:

(6)

a detailed description of all meetings, tours, events, and outings during such travel; and

.

305.

Guidelines respecting travel expenses

(a)

House of representatives

Clause 5(f) of rule XXV of the Rules of the House of Representatives is amended by inserting (1) after (f) and by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(2)

Within 90 days after the date of adoption of this subparagraph and at annual intervals thereafter, the Committee on Standards of official Conduct shall develop and revise, as necessary, guidelines on what constitutes reasonable expenses or reasonable expenditures for purposes of paragraph (b)(4). In developing and revising the guidelines, the committee shall take into account the maximum per diem rates for official Government travel published annually by the General Services Administration, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense.

.

(b)

Senate

Rule XXXV of the Standing Rules of the Senate is amended by adding at the end the following:

(7)

Not later than 90 days after the date of adoption of this paragraph and at annual intervals thereafter, the Select Committee on Ethics shall develop and revise, as necessary, guidelines on what constitutes reasonable expenses or reasonable expenditures for purposes of this rule. In developing and revising the guidelines, the committee shall take into account the maximum per diem rates for official Government travel published annually by the General Services Administration, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense.

.

306.

Prohibition on gifts by registered lobbyists to Members of Congress and to congressional employees

(a)

Prohibition

(1)

In general

A registered lobbyist may not knowingly make a gift to a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of Congress except as provided in this section.

(2)

Gift defined

In this section, 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.

(3)

Registered lobbyist defined

In this section, the term registered lobbyist means—

(A)

a lobbyist registered under the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.);

(B)

a lobbyist who, as an employee of an organization, is covered by the registration of that organization under that Act; and

(C)

an organization registered under that Act.

(4)

Gifts to family members and other individuals

For the purposes of this section, a gift to a family member of a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of Congress, or a gift to any other individual based on that individual's relationship with the Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee, shall be considered a gift to the Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee if the gift was given because of the official position of the Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee.

(5)

Exceptions

The restrictions in paragraph (1) do not apply to the following:

(A)

Certain lawful political fundraising activities

A contribution, as defined in section 301(8) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431) that is lawfully made under that Act, a lawful contribution for election to a State or local government office, or attendance at a fundraising event sponsored by a political organization described in section 527(e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

(B)

Gift from a relative

A gift from a relative as described in section 109(16) of title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (2 U.S.C. App. 109(16)).

(C)

Employee benefits

Pension and other benefits resulting from continued participation in an employee welfare and benefits plan maintained by a former employer.

(D)

Informational materials

Informational materials that are sent to the office of the Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee in the form of books, articles, periodicals, other written materials, audiotapes, videotapes, or other forms of communication.

(E)

Items of nominal value

An item of nominal value such as a greeting card, baseball cap, or a T-shirt.

(F)

Personal friendship

(i)

In general

Anything provided by an individual on the basis of a personal friendship unless the gift was given because of the official position of the Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee.

(ii)

Circumstances

In determining whether a gift is provided on the basis of personal friendship, the following shall be considered:

(I)

The history of the relationship between the Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employer and the individual giving the gift, including any previous exchange of gifts between them.

(II)

Whether the individual who gave the gift personally paid for the gift or sought a tax deduction or business reimbursement for the gift.

(III)

Whether the individual who gave the gift also gave the same or similar gifts to other Members, Delegates, the Resident Commissioners, officers, or employees of Congress.

(G)

Certain outside business or employment activities provided to spouse

Food, refreshments, lodging, transportation, and other benefits provided to the spouse of the Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee, resulting from the outside business or employment activities of the spouse or in connection with bona fide employment discussions with respect to the spouse, if such benefits have not been offered or enhanced because of the official position of the Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee and are customarily provided to others in similar circumstances.

(H)

Opportunities and benefits unrelated to congressional employment

Opportunities and benefits that are offered to members of a group or class in which membership is unrelated to congressional employment.

(I)

Certain foods or refreshments

Food or refreshments of a nominal value offered other than as a part of a meal.

(b)

Penalty

Any registered lobbyist who violates this section shall be subject to a civil fine of not more than $50,000, depending on the extent and gravity of the violation.

307.

Prohibition on members accepting gifts from lobbyists

(a)

House of Representatives

Clause 5(a)(1)(A) of rule XXV of the Rules of the House of Representatives is amended by adding at the end the following new sentence: Notwithstanding any other provision of this clause, in no event may a Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner accept a gift from a registered lobbyist prohibited by section 306 of the Lobbying and Ethics Reform Act of 2005..

(b)

Senate

Paragraph 1 of rule XXXV of the Standing Rules of the Senate is amended by adding at the end the following:

(g)

Notwithstanding any other provision of this rule, in no event may a Member accept a gift from a registered lobbyist prohibited by section 306 of the Lobbying and Ethics Reform Act of 2005.

.

IV

Oversight of ethics and lobbying

401.

Comptroller General review and semiannual report on activities carried out by Clerk of the House and Secretary of the Senate under Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995

(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.