March 17, 2014 •
Bill Introduced in U.S. House Alters Lobbyist Disclosure Requirements
On March 13, a bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives requiring increased disclosure from lobbyists and public officials. U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley introduced the Transparency in Government Act.
The act, House Resolution 4245, makes several changes to the current Lobbyist Disclosure Act (LDA), including:
- Establishing the Lobbyist Disclosure Enhancement Act;
- Removing references to the IRS definition of lobbying, leaving only the LDA definition of lobbying;
- Changing the requirement for lobbyist registration by removing the current 20 percent work time threshold; and
- Lobbyists to report political contributions quarterly rather than semiannually;
- Lobbyists to complete ethics training within six months of being hired and once every five years thereafter;
- Lobbyists to register within 10 days, rather than 45 days, of making a lobbying contact;
- Organizations that hire a lobbyist intending to make more than one lobbying contact to register; and
- The clerk of the House and the secretary of the Senate to develop a system that assigns an identification number to each lobbyist.
The bill also amends the Freedom of Information Act and makes other changes regarding disclosure and transparency in federal contracting and the three branches of federal government.
In his press release, Quigley states, “The Transparency in Government Act shines a light on every branch of the federal government, strengthening our democracy and promoting an efficient, effective and open government.”
Photo of U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley courtesy of the U.S. House of Representatives website on Wikimedia Commons.
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