Amendments Submitted for the Lobbying Reform Bill


The House Rules Committee received today 48 amendments that will be offered during the debate and vote on the much-anticipated lobbying bill. There isn't too much of interest to us at Sunlight but I figured that you might want to check out all of the proposed amendments. The most controversial ones will certainly be Chris Van Hollen's bundling disclosure amendment, Chris Shays' 2-year lobbying cooling off amendment, Marty Meehan's ban on lobbyist thrown parties at national conventions, and the numerous amendments to create outside ethics enforcement bodies. Jeff Flake, notorious for his anti-earmark crusade, has also offered a raft of controversial amendments related to earmarks including an outright ban on lobbying for earmarks. I've put the whole list below the fold. Check it out:

Abercrombie (HI) #35 This amendment places a one-year ban on flag and general officers of the Armed Services from receiving compensation from any company that does greater than $50 million in business with the Department of Defense. This ban will take place 120 days from the enactment of the legislation.

Brown-Waite (FL) #13 Expresses the sense of Congress that if there is an ongoing criminal investigation into the activities of a Member of Congress, the Member's congressional office may be subject to searches and seizures by appropriate executive branch officials in possession of a valid court order.

Cardoza (CA) #1 (WITHDRAWN) This amendment would ban leadership Political Action Committees (PACs) and all other PACs except principal campaign committees, authorized committees, political party committees, or designated committees.

Cardoza (CA) #2 (WITHDRAWN) This amendment would require Senators to raise 50% of their campaign contributions from their home State.

Cardoza (CA) #3 (WITHDRAWN) This amendment would ban Member to Member political contributions.

Cardoza (CA) #4 (WITHDRAWN) This amendment would bar political committees of national parties from accepting campaign contributions from Members of Congress, or Members' political committees.

Cardoza (CA) #5 This amendment gives judges the discretion to increase the sentence for public officials convicted of bribery, fraud, extortion or theft of public funds greater than $10,000. If a public official was convicted of one of the enumerated crimes, a sentencing judge would have the discretion to double the length of a sentence (up to two years) for those public officials. Public officials are defined as Federal, State, or local elected officials; Presidential appointees; or a State or local official appointed by an elected state or local official.

Castle (DE) #20 Amendment would create an independent body, consisting of former Members and retired federal judges, to investigate claims of unethical or illegal actions by Members or staff and to report findings and recommend disciplinary action to the Committee on Standards. The Speaker and Minority Leader must agree on the chair of the Commission, and no Commissioner may have lobbied in the five years prior to his/her term.

Castle (DE) #21 Extends to two years the lobbying ban for former members of Congress, senior staff, and executive branch officials.

Castle (DE) #22 Amendment states that it is the sense of Congress that the use of a family relationship by a lobbyist who is an immediate family member of a Member of Congress to gain special advantages over other lobbyists is inappropriate.

Castle (DE) #23 Requires all registered lobbyists to complete a mandatory 8-hours of ethics training, conducted by the House Committee on Standards, each Congress. Ethics training would include the code of conduct and disclosure requirements applicable to Members, officers, and employees of the House, including rules relating to acceptance of gifts (including travel and meals), and financial disclosure requirements under the Ethics in Government Act of 1978. Failure to complete ethics training each Congress would trigger penalties.

Castle (DE) #24 Amendment to prohibit a campaign committee or leadership PAC of a candidate or Federal office holder from making payments to a spouse or immediate family member of candidate for services provided. Exempts nominal reimbursements under $500.

Christensen (VI) #44 This amendment would amend section 5(b) of the Lobbying Disclosure Act (2 U.S.C. 1604(b)) to require that specific information be disclosed when a registrant (“lobbyist”) is retained to engage in lobbying activities on behalf of a third party. This amendment would require that the identity of, the contact information for, and the amounts paid by a third party for the registrant’s services be disclosed on the registrant’s quarterly financial disclosure reports.

Conyers (MI) #27 Manager's Amendment. This amendment would make technical corrections to the text of the bill. In addition, the amendment would clarify that only those organizations that are described in any paragraph of section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, are exempt from disclosing their membership lists to the Clerk of the House, and would also permit Members to omit personally identifiable information not required to be disclosed on the reports posted on the Internet by the Clerk.

Dreier (CA) #6 The amendment adds language passed by the House as part of H.R. 4975 in the 109th Congress amending the post-employment restrictions contained in section 207(e) of title 18, United States Code. The amendment would direct the Clerk, in consultation with the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, to inform a Member, officer, or employee who is subject to the post-employment restrictions on lobbying contacts contained in that section of the beginning and ending dates of the restriction. The Clerk must also inform each office of the House to which the restriction applies of the restriction. The amendment also adds a new provision directing the Clerk to place the information on its public Internet site in a format that is searchable, sortable, and downloadable.

Dreier (CA) #41 Adds a provision passed by the House in the 109th Congress authorizing and requiring the House Inspector General to conduct random audits of lobbying disclosure filings. Authorizes the House Inspector General to refer wrongdoing by lobbyists to the Department of Justice.

Emanuel (IL) #47 (WITHDRAWN)The amendment would require registered lobbyists to disclose “bundled” campaign contributions in excess of $20,000 annually to covered recipients. If a registered lobbyist exceeds $20,000 annually in bundled contributions to one covered recipient, he/she must disclose the contributions from that year in excess of $5,000 per quarter.

English (PA) #10 Extends the current lifetime lobbying restrictions on the United States Trade Representative, which prevent him or her from "representing or advising foreign entities on any matter with the intent to influence a decision of any officer or employee of any department or agency of the United States, in carrying out his or her official duties," to also include the Secretary of Commerce.

Flake (AZ)/Boehner (OH) #18 The amendment would remove the exemption in the House gift rule for state and local government entities.

Flake (AZ) #38 The amendment requires registered lobbyists to report Congressional earmarks for which they lobby.

Flake (AZ) #39 The amendment prohibits lobbyists from lobbying for Congressional earmarks with federal funds.

Flake (AZ) #40 The amendment would require registered lobbyists who work for an entity that was created by earmarks to include in their annual report a statement detailing the total amount, by year, of Federal funds the entity has received since the founding of the entity, including which funds were received by such a Congressional earmark and which funds were received by a competitive grant process.

Garrett (NJ) #19 The amendment would make it a federal offense for persons convicted of federal, state, or local felonies to register as lobbyists.

Gingrey (GA) #8 The amendment would extend the prohibition on converting campaign dollars for personal use currently applicable to campaign committees to leadership PACs. Leadership PACs could use funds for authorized expenditures in connection with campaigns for Federal office, charitable contributions, or for transfers to a national, state, or local committee of a political party. Leadership PAC is defined as a political committee that is directly or indirectly established, maintained, or controlled by a candidate for election for Federal office or an individual holding Federal office.

Hulshof (MO) #25 Grants the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Ethics Committee subpoena power during informal fact-finding review of complaints and informal self-initiated fact-finding.

Hulshof (MO) #26 Add a House Rule that explicitly states neither the chair nor ranking member of the Ethics Committee may consult with their party leadership or leadership staff on any matter regarding an investigation by the Committee, including scheduling matters.

Issa (CA) #7 The amendment would amend the Lobbying Disclosure Act to prohibit state, local, or other government or semi-sovereign entities, including public institutions of higher education, from providing gifts to Members, officers, or employees of the House.

Jackson-Lee (TX) #16 This amendment amends the Van Hollen amendment regarding bundling. In particular, this amendment provides that the statement which a covered registered lobbyist is required to provide to the recipient must include a notification that the recipient has the right to respond to the statement to challenge and correct any information included before the registered lobbyist files the report.

Jackson-Lee (TX) #17 The amendment would require lobbyists to report to Congress on bundled contributions.

Kaptur (OH) #32 The amendment would expand the disclosure requirements to individuals and organizations, in addition to lobbyists. This amendment assumes that HR 2317 has been incorporated into HR 2316, and that the amendment now needs to be offered to HR 2316.

Kaptur (OH) #33 Sense of the Congress Resolution suggesting that the Supreme Court misinterpreted First Amendment free speech considerations in Buckley v. Valeo.

Kaptur (OH) #34 The amendment bans former officers and employees from knowingly acting as an agent or representing a foreign country or foreign political party in a matter in which the US has an interest. The amendment also would establish a five year restriction on certain officers and employees acting as an agent or attorney for or otherwise representing or advising for compensation non-US persons, partnerships, associations, corporations or organizations if the representation relates directly to a matter in which the United States is a party or has a direct and substantial interest.

Kaptur (OH) #37 (REVISED) Prohibits contributions and expenditures by multicandidate political committees or separate segregated funds sponsored by Foreign-Controlled Corporations and Associations. Bars foreign nationals from involvement in election-related activities. Establishes an FEC clearinghouse of public information on political activities of foreign principals and agents. Amends penalties in the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Kirk (IL) #48 (LATE) The amendment addresses Members of Congress forfeiting their congressional pension should they be convicted of certain felonies. The amendment expands the number of such felonies from 3 to 22.

McHenry (NC) #36 This amendment would require Members' disclosure of residential properties, including primary residences and mortgage liabilities.

Meehan (MA) #12 Amends the Lobbying Disclosure Act to ban lobbyists from making or arranging a direct or indirect payment for a party, reception, or other event that is held at a national political party nominating convention in honor or recognition of a Member, officer, or employee of Congress.

Moore, Dennis (KS) #9 This amendment would modify the House earmark disclosure rules to require that lists of earmarks, limited tax benefits, and limited tariff benefits included in bills, joint resolutions, or conference reports be made available on the Internet in a searchable format to the general public at least 48 hours before consideration.

Schiff (CA) #30 This would amend the Rules of the House of Representatives by prohibiting a Member from soliciting contributions for their campaign committee if the committee pays the spouse of the Member on a commission basis for the spouse’s fundraising activities on behalf of the campaign committee.

Schiff (CA) #31 This would amend the criminal code by prohibiting candidates from soliciting contributions for the candidate's campaign committee if the committee pays the candidate’s spouse on an FEC basis for the spouse’s fundraising activities on behalf of the campaign committee.

Sestak (PA) #46 The amendment would establish a nine-member Independent Ethics Commission of former Federal judges, which would have the power to investigate alleged violations by Members and employees of the House, and present a case of probable ethics violations to the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, as well as to make recommendations on violations to the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct that it report to the appropriate Federal or State authorities.

Shadegg (AZ) #42 The amendment would prohibit a Member of Congress convicted of bribery from receiving his or her taxpayer-funded retirement benefits.

Shays (CT) #28 Extends the prohibition on lobbying by members of Congress, senior staff, and Executive Branch officials from one to two years after they leave public service.

Shays (CT) #29 Establishes an Office of Public Integrity (OPI) to assist the House Ethics Committee. OPI would be a nonpartisan office comprised of professional staff who would investigate non-frivolous complaints of potential ethics violations and present its findings to the Ethics Committee for adjudication. OPI would also provide both formal and informal guidance to Members and their staff on the permissibility of conduct under House and Senate rules. Finally, OPI would provide informal guidance to registered lobbyists about reporting requirements and conduct random audits of reports.

Snyder (AR) #11 This amendment would prohibit former Member access privileges and services from being made available or provided to any former Member who is a registered lobbyist.

Terry (NE) #14 Provides for the loss of pensions for Members of Congress convicted of current federal "white-collar" criminal offenses like bribery, solicitation of gifts, perjury, making false claims, lying to a grand jury, etc. Denies pension benefits only for the period of federal service in the U.S. Congress and for offenses related to the service as a Member.

Terry (NE)/Price, Tom (GA) #43 The amendment sets forth findings that the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct has not provided Members of Congress with adequate and clear guidance on the definition of a congressional earmark and what constitutes a Member’s financial interest in a congressional earmark. The amendment requires the Committee to publish an updated manual clearly explaining the new rules governing congressional earmark transparency and what constitutes a Member’s financial interest in an earmark.

Van Hollen (MD) #45 The amendment would require registered lobbyists to submit quarterly reports on bundled contributions.

Wolf (VA) #15 This amendment would make it a federal offense for former ambassadors and CIA station chiefs to act as an agent of the foreign nation where they were assigned for five years after their service as ambassador or station chief is completed.