August 17, 2020 •

Federal Lobbying Law Reform Bill Entered in US House

U.S. Capitol Building

U.S. Capitol - by Martin Falbisoner

On August 11, a bipartisan bill to amend the federal lobbying law was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. Submitted by Republican Rep. Ben Cline and Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips, the Lobbying Disclosure Reform Act would require registration with […]

On August 11, a bipartisan bill to amend the federal lobbying law was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Submitted by Republican Rep. Ben Cline and Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips, the Lobbying Disclosure Reform Act would require registration with both the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate, move enforcement of the lobbying laws to the U.S. Office of the Attorney General, amend registration and reporting thresholds, and assign a unique identification number to each individual registering as a federal lobbyist and to each client of that lobbyist.

H.R. 8022 would also require the disclosure of any persons providing strategic lobbying services in support of a registered lobbyist, who would then also be assigned unique identification numbers.

The Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate would have the responsibility of assigning the unique identification numbers.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

January 9, 2020 •

Representative Duncan Hunter Resigns from Congress

Rep. Duncan Hunter - Gage Skidmore

Rep. Duncan Hunter sent a letter of resignation to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Gov. Gavin Newsom after pleading guilty to conspiracy to misuse campaign funds. Hunter will officially step down from his 50th Congressional District seat on January 13. […]

Rep. Duncan Hunter sent a letter of resignation to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Gov. Gavin Newsom after pleading guilty to conspiracy to misuse campaign funds.

Hunter will officially step down from his 50th Congressional District seat on January 13.

Gov. Newsom decided not to call a special election so the seat will remain vacant until the November election.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

July 3, 2019 •

HUMBLE (Halt Unchecked Member Benefits with Lobbying Elimination) Act Introduced in U.S. Congress

A bill meant to permanently ban former members of Congress from lobbying the U.S. Legislature was introduced in the House on June 21 by U.S. Representative Angie Craig. House Bill 3419, the HUMBLE (Halt Unchecked Member Benefits with Lobbying Elimination) […]

A bill meant to permanently ban former members of Congress from lobbying the U.S. Legislature was introduced in the House on June 21 by U.S. Representative Angie Craig.

House Bill 3419, the HUMBLE (Halt Unchecked Member Benefits with Lobbying Elimination) Act, would prohibit former Members and elected officers of Congress from lobbying Congress at any time after leaving office.

The legislation also prohibits Members of the House of Representatives from owning individual stocks while in office.

Additionally, the bill prohibits use of government funds for first-class airline accommodations.

The bill also eliminates certain benefits currently available to former members of the House, such as access to parking, athletic facilities, and the House members’ dining room.

“A lifetime ban on lobbying will ensure that Congress is no longer a revolving door of influence, and banning individual stock ownership will cut down on conflicts of interest and show that Congress has its priorities straight so that we can advocate for policies that will improve lives and expand economic opportunity for every Minnesotan,” said Craig in her press release.

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

March 8, 2019 •

US House Passes HR 1, For the People Act of 2019

On March 8, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a sweeping campaign finance, lobbying, ethics, and election gerrymandering reform bill. Introduced by Rep. John Sarbanes, House Bill 1, the For the People Act of 2019, requires any organization involved in […]

On March 8, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a sweeping campaign finance, lobbying, ethics, and election gerrymandering reform bill.

Introduced by Rep. John Sarbanes, House Bill 1, the For the People Act of 2019, requires any organization involved in political activity to disclose its largest donors, creates a multiple matching system for small donations for political campaigns, and amends rules governing super PACs.

Additionally, the bill restructures the Federal Election Commission, amends the federal conflict of interest law, and expands the revolving door provision by prohibiting Members of Congress from serving on corporate boards.

If enacted, the bill also requires presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns, prohibits partisan gerrymandering, increases oversight over election vendors, creates an automatic voter registration across the country, and changes registration requirements for lobbyists and foreign agents.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

February 11, 2019 •

The Corporate Political Disclosure Act of 2019 Introduced in U.S. Congress

On February 7, a bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to require publicly traded corporations to disclose all expenditures made for political activities. House Bill 1053, the Corporate Political Disclosure Act of 2019, would require publicly traded […]

On February 7, a bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to require publicly traded corporations to disclose all expenditures made for political activities.

House Bill 1053, the Corporate Political Disclosure Act of 2019, would require publicly traded corporations to disclose political expenditures, through the Securities and Exchange Commission, to their shareholders and to the general public.

The requirement would include reporting dues or other payments to trade associations that are, or could reasonably be anticipated to be, used or transferred to another association or organization for use on political activities.

The legislation, brought by Rep. Salud Ortiz Carbajal, was originally introduced in the prior congressional session, but never made it out of the House Committee on Financial Services.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

January 29, 2019 •

House Joint Resolution Introduced Eliminates Counting All Noncitizens During Census

On January 24, Rep. Warren Davidson introduced a resolution proposing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution providing members of the House of Representatives be apportioned among only U.S. citizens. House Joint Resolution 34, the Fair Representation Amendment, would eliminate the […]

On January 24, Rep. Warren Davidson introduced a resolution proposing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution providing members of the House of Representatives be apportioned among only U.S. citizens.

House Joint Resolution 34, the Fair Representation Amendment, would eliminate the practice of counting noncitizens during each census, counting only citizens for apportionment of representatives and electoral votes.

“Proper census calculations are needed to ensure that every citizen’s vote counts,” says Davidson in his press release. Davidson first introduced the legislation in the last Congress.

Currently, the census counts everyone residing in the U.S., including individuals employed, working, and residing legally in the country.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

January 25, 2019 •

Lobbyist Loophole Closure Act Introduced in US House

On January 24, Rep. Max Rose introduced a bill to amend the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 to expand the scope of individuals and activities subject to the Act. House Bill 783, the Lobbyist Loophole Closure Act, requires individuals who […]

On January 24, Rep. Max Rose introduced a bill to amend the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 to expand the scope of individuals and activities subject to the Act.

House Bill 783, the Lobbyist Loophole Closure Act, requires individuals who provide paid strategic advice in support of lobbying contacts with covered government officials to register as lobbyists, even if the individuals themselves do not make direct contact with the official.

“If someone acts like a lobbyist, and is paid like a lobbyist, then they ought to register as a lobbyist,” Rose said in his press release.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

January 7, 2019 •

First U.S. House Bill Introduced is Sweeping Campaign Finance Bill

The first piece of legislation introduced into the new U.S. House of Representative was a sweeping 571-page campaign finance bill. Introduced by Rep. John Sarbanes, House Bill 1, the For the People Act, requires any organization involved in political activity […]

The first piece of legislation introduced into the new U.S. House of Representative was a sweeping 571-page campaign finance bill. Introduced by Rep. John Sarbanes, House Bill 1, the For the People Act, requires any organization involved in political activity to disclose its largest donors, creates a multiple matching system for small donations for political campaigns, and amends rules governing super PACs.

The bill also restructures the Federal Election Commission, amends the federal conflict of interest law, and expands the revolving door provision by prohibiting members of Congress from serving on corporate boards. If passed, the bill also requires presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns, prohibits partisan gerrymandering, increases oversight over election vendors, creates an automatic voter registration across the country, and changes registration requirements for lobbyists and foreign agents.

Sarbanes argued the rational for the bill in his press release, stating, “The bold, transformative set of reforms that we introduced today will strengthen our democracy and return political power to the people by making it easier, not harder, to vote, ending the dominance of big money in our politics and ensuring that public officials actually serve the public.”

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

November 7, 2018 •

Democrats Take House While Republicans Keep Senate

On November 6, voters gave Democrats the majority control of the U.S. House of Representatives while keeping Republicans firmly in control of the Senate. With early elections results in, it appears clear Democrats have gained at least 26 seats, giving […]

On November 6, voters gave Democrats the majority control of the U.S. House of Representatives while keeping Republicans firmly in control of the Senate.

With early elections results in, it appears clear Democrats have gained at least 26 seats, giving them more than the 218 seats required in the House for a majority.

In the Senate, Republicans gained two seats, ensuring their control of the Senate.

Republicans may possibly increase their majority in the Senate when the final votes are counted.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

March 16, 2018 •

New York Congresswoman Louis Slaughter Passes Away

U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter, known as a champion for women’s rights, passed away on March 16, 2018. Slaughter served as a U.S. Rep. for New York’s 25th District for over three decades. Gov. Andrew Cuomo may call a special election […]

U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter, known as a champion for women’s rights, passed away on March 16, 2018.

Slaughter served as a U.S. Rep. for New York’s 25th District for over three decades.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo may call a special election to fill the remainder of her term.

Slaughter’s term expires at the end of 2018.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

July 28, 2017 •

Bill Introduced in U.S. House Would Require Cause for Firing OGE Director

On July 27, a bill was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives to prevent the firing of a director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) without cause. House Resolution 3462, The Office of Government Ethics Independence Act, […]

On July 27, a bill was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives to prevent the firing of a director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) without cause.

House Resolution 3462, The Office of Government Ethics Independence Act, would amend federal law by clarifying that the director of the OGE may only be removed for the neglect of duty or instances of wrongdoing. It would also require the president to provide Congress with 30 days advanced notice of his or her intent to fire the director and to inform Congress as to the reasons for the action taken.

On July 19, Walter Shaub Jr. resigned as director from the OGE. Shaub, in his position as the director, had repeatedly questioned various possible conflicts of interests of President Trump and of members of the president’s White House staff. The current acting director of the OGE is David Apol, who was selected by President Trump to replace Shaub until a permanent director is announced and subsequently confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

July 5, 2017 •

Political Intelligence Transparency Act of 2017 Would Require Disclosure

In June, Rep. Louise McIntosh Slaughter introduced a bill to regulate political intelligence activities. House Bill 2819, the Political Intelligence Transparency Act of 2017, defines the term ‘political intelligence activities’ to mean political intelligence contacts and efforts in support of such […]

In June, Rep. Louise McIntosh Slaughter introduced a bill to regulate political intelligence activities.

House Bill 2819, the Political Intelligence Transparency Act of 2017, defines the term ‘political intelligence activities’ to mean political intelligence contacts and efforts in support of such contacts, including preparation and planning activities, research, and other background work that is intended, at the time it is performed, for use in contacts, and coordination with such contacts and efforts of others. The bill amends the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 to require the disclosure of political intelligence activities, amends title 18, United States Code, to provide for restrictions on former officers, employees, and elected officials of the executive and legislative branches regarding political intelligence contacts, and makes other related changes.

The House Committee on the Judiciary currently has the bill under consideration.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

May 15, 2017 •

501(c)(4) Reform Act of 2017 Introduced in US House

A bill introduced in the U. S. House of Representatives intends to prohibit tax exemptions under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code for social welfare organizations engaged in political activity. House Bill 2338, the 501(c)(4) Reform Act of 2017, […]

A bill introduced in the U. S. House of Representatives intends to prohibit tax exemptions under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code for social welfare organizations engaged in political activity.

House Bill 2338, the 501(c)(4) Reform Act of 2017, amends the Internal Revenue Code to prohibit 501(c)(4) entities from participating in, or intervening in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign.

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham introduced the legislation on May 3. The bill is currently in the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

April 13, 2017 •

US House Bill Would Place Congressional Salaries in Escrow if No Budget Passed

A revolving door bill introduced in the U.S. House would hold congressional salaries in escrow unless a fiscal budget is passed this week. House Bill 1951, The No Ongoing Perks Enrichment Act (NOPE ACT), which would establish a uniform five-year […]

United_States_Capitol_-_west_frontA revolving door bill introduced in the U.S. House would hold congressional salaries in escrow unless a fiscal budget is passed this week.

House Bill 1951, The No Ongoing Perks Enrichment Act (NOPE ACT), which would establish a uniform five-year post-employment ban on lobbying by former members of Congress, also requires the salaries of members of a House be held in escrow if the House has not agreed to a concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2018 by April 15, 2017.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Tom O’Halleran, additionally eliminates automatic pay adjustments for members of Congress and prohibits the use of funds provided for the official travel expenses of members of Congress and other officers and employees of the legislative branch for first-class airline accommodations. “Congress must act to restore confidence in our government, and that starts by cutting special privileges and promoting transparency,” O’Halleran said in his press release.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close