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H.R. 931: BLAKE Act


The text of the bill below is as of Jan 30, 2019 (Introduced).

Summary of this bill

Should a former member of Congress be allowed to lobby if they haven’t refunded taxpayers the cost of lawsuits related to sexual harassment?

Context

Former Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX27) settled a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by his former aide for $84,000, but refused to reimburse the taxpayer-funded settlement.

He told ABC News that he didn’t reimburse taxpayers on the advice of his attorney, even though initially he had promised to do so. The funds for the settlement came from an account created for resolving this and other workplace issues in Congress by a 1995 law called the Congressional Accountability Act

Farenthold resigned from Congress in April 2018 ...


I

116th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 931

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 30, 2019

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit a former Member of Congress from serving as a lobbyist until the former Member has met any obligation imposed on the former Member under the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 to reimburse the Treasury for amounts paid as settlements and awards under such Act in the case of an act committed personally by the former Member.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Bad Lawmakers Accountability and Key Emends Act or the BLAKE Act.

2.

Ban on lobbying by former Members of Congress failing to meet requirement to reimburse amounts paid as settlements and awards under Congressional Accountability Act of 1995

(a)

Ban on lobbying

(1)

Lobbying by former Senators

Section 207(e)(1)(A) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking within 2 years after that person leaves office and inserting the following: prior to the expiration of the 2-year period which begins on the date that person leaves office or prior to the date by which that person meets any requirement of section 415(d) of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1415(d)) which applies to that person to reimburse the Treasury for certain awards and settlements paid under such Act (whichever occurs later).

(2)

Lobbying by former Members of the House of Representatives

Section 207(e)(1)(B) of such title is amended by striking within 1 year after that person leaves office and inserting the following: prior to the expiration of the 1-year period which begins on the date that person leaves office or prior to the date by which that person meets any requirement of section 415(d) of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1415(d)) which applies to that person to reimburse the Treasury for certain awards and settlements paid under such Act (whichever occurs later).

(b)

Ban on lobbying on behalf of foreign governments

Section 207(f)(1) of such title is amended by striking within 1 year after leaving the position, office, or employment referred to in such subsection and inserting the following: prior to the expiration of the 1-year period which begins on the date that person leaves the position, office, or employment referred to in such subsection or, in the case of the position of Member of Congress, prior to the date by which that person meets any requirement of section 415(d) of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1415(d)) which applies to that person to reimburse the Treasury for certain awards and settlements paid under such Act (whichever occurs later).

(c)

Effective date

The amendments made by this section shall apply with respect to any individual who, on or after the date of the enactment of this Act, leaves an office to which section 207(e) or section 207(f) of title 18, United States Code, applies.