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S. 2417 (113th): Close the Revolving Door Act of 2014


The text of the bill below is as of Jun 3, 2014 (Introduced).


II

113th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2417

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 3, 2014

(for himself and Mr. Tester) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

A BILL

To provide greater controls and restrictions on revolving door lobbying.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Close the Revolving Door Act of 2014 .

2.

Lifetime ban on Members of Congress from lobbying

(a)

In general

Section 207(e)(1) of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

(1)

Members of Congress

Any person who is a Senator, a Member of the House of Representatives or an elected officer of the Senate or the House of Representatives and who after that person leaves office, knowingly makes, with the intent to influence, any communication to or appearance before any Member, officer, or employee of either House of Congress or any employee of any other legislative office of the Congress, on behalf of any other person (except the United States) in connection with any matter on which such former Senator, Member, or elected official 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)

Conforming amendment

Section 207(e)(2) of title 18, United States Code, is amended—

(1)

in the heading, by striking Officers and staff and inserting Staff ; and

(2)

by striking an elected officer of the Senate, or.

3.

Congressional staff

Paragraphs (2), (3), (4), (5)(A), and (6)(A) of section 207(e) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking 1 year and inserting 6 years.

4.

Improved reporting of lobbyists’ activities

Section 6 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 ( 2 U.S.C. 1605 ) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(c)

Joint web site

(1)

In general

The Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives shall maintain a joint lobbyist disclosure Internet database for information required to be publicly disclosed under this Act which shall be an easily searchable Web site called lobbyists.gov with a stated goal of simplicity of usage.

(2)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $100,000 for fiscal year 2015.

.

5.

Lobbyist revolving door to Congress

(a)

In general

Any person who is a registered lobbyist or an agent of a foreign principal may not within 6 years after that person leaves such position be hired by a Member or committee of either House of Congress with whom the registered lobbyist or an agent of a foreign principal has had substantial lobbying contact.

(b)

Waiver

This section may be waived in the Senate or the House of Representatives by the Committee on Ethics or the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct based on a compelling national need.

(c)

Substantial lobbying contact

For purposes of this section, in determining whether a registered lobbyist or agent of a foreign principal has had substantial lobbying contact within the applicable period of time, the Member or committee of either House of Congress shall take into consideration whether the individual's lobbying contacts have pertained to pending legislative business, or related to solicitation of an earmark or other Federal funding, particularly if such contacts included the coordination of meetings with the Member or staff, involved presentations to staff, or participation in fundraising exceeding the mere giving of a personal contribution. Simple social contacts with the Member or committee of either House of Congress and staff, shall not by themselves constitute substantial lobbying contacts.

6.

Reporting by substantial lobbying entities

The Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 6 the following:

6A.

Reporting by substantial lobbying entities

(a)

In general

A substantial lobbying entity shall file on an annual basis with the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the United States Senate a list of any employee, individual under contract, or individual who provides paid consulting services who is—

(1)

a former United States Senator or a former Member of the United States House of Representatives; or

(2)

a former congressional staff person who—

(A)

made at least $100,000 in any 1 year as a congressional staff person;

(B)

worked for a total of 4 years or more as a congressional staff person; or

(C)

had a job title at any time while employed as a congressional staff person that contained any of the following terms: Chief of Staff, Legislative Director, Staff Director, Counsel, Professional Staff Member, Communications Director, or Press Secretary.

(b)

Contents of filing

The filing required by this section shall contain a brief job description of each such employee, individual under contract, or individual who provides paid consulting services, and an explanation of their work experience under subsection (a) that requires this filing.

(c)

Improved reporting of substantial lobbying entities

The Joint Web site being maintained by the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives, known as lobbyists.gov, shall include an easily searchable database entitled Substantial Lobbying Entities that includes qualifying employees, individuals under contract, or individuals who provide paid consulting services, under subsection (a).

(d)

Law enforcement oversight

The Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate shall provide a copy of the filings of substantial lobbying entities to the District of Columbia United States Attorney, to allow the District of Columbia United States Attorney to determine whether any such entities are underreporting the Federal lobbying activities of its employees, individuals under contract, or individuals who provide paid consulting services.

(e)

Substantial lobbying entity

In this section, the term substantial lobbying entity means an incorporated entity that employs more than 3 federally registered lobbyists during a filing period.

.

7.

Enhanced penalties

Section 7(a) of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 ( 2 U.S.C. 1606(a) ) is amended by striking $200,000 and inserting $500,000.