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H.R. 2819: Political Intelligence Transparency Act of 2017

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jun 7, 2017.

Political Intelligence Transparency Act of 2017

This bill amends the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (LDA) to require the disclosure of political intelligence activities, particularly relating to information useful for analyzing securities or commodities markets.

Political intelligence consultants or their employing organizations must register with the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives and make quarterly reports on political intelligence activities.

Persons or entities that make an oral or written political intelligence contact with a covered legislative branch or executive branch official must, on the official's request: (1) state whether such person or entity is registered under the LDA, (2) identify the client on behalf of whom the contact is made, and (3) state whether such client is a foreign entity and make any related disclosures.

The federal criminal code is amended to subject to a fine and/or imprisonment certain former officers, employees, and elected officials of the executive and legislative branches who knowingly make any communication to, or appearance before, any officer or employee of a federal or District of Columbia agency or court in violation of certain permanent or temporary restrictions and with the intent to gain information for use in: (1) analyzing securities or commodities markets, or (2) informing investment decisions in those markets.

The bill excludes from such prohibition any communication made by a representative of a media organization to gather and disseminate news and information to the public.