June 27, 2011 •
Bill: Federal Lobbyists Redefined
A new bill introduced into Congress redefines lobbyist and increases lobbyist reporting requirements.
Representative Mike Quigley has introduced the Lobbying Disclosure Enhancement Act, which changes the definition of lobbyist by removing the exception of individuals whose lobbying activities account for less than 20 percent of the time engaged in lobbying over a three month period.
Lobbyists would be required to register online within five days of employment, as opposed to the current 45 day requirement. For each lobbying activity which engaged an official, a lobbyist would be required to report the date of the contact, the specific issue discussed, and identify those covered executive branch officials or Members of Congress contacted about the issue. If lobbying an employee of a Member of Congress, the Member’s name would also have to be reported. Political contributions by lobbyists to candidates would have to be reported quarterly instead of semi-annually.
The bill also creates a special unit for enforcing the lobbying disclosure laws called the Lobbying Disclosure Act Enforcement Task Force, whose primary responsibility would be investigating and prosecuting each case referred to the Attorney General.
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