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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 Feb 3, 2021.
This bill provides statutory authority for provisions of the executive order titled Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Appointees, which was issued on January 28, 2017, and was revoked on January 20, 2021, by President Donald J. Trump. The order required political appointees in the executive branch to sign an ethics pledge that restricted lobbying and related activities during and after government employment, including a prohibition on appointees lobbying their former agencies for five years post-employment.
On January 20, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. issued a new executive order titled Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel, which requires appointees to sign an ethics pledge with both similar and different provisions. Among other differences, the order's pledge restricts appointees from accepting cash payments or non-cash benefits from former employers that are contingent on government employment (also known as golden parachutes).