~ethics/lobbying reform bill ~ blah blah blah. just more rules they place on themselves to make us believe they are moral. they'll break em anyway
The bill contains those provisions we pushed for, plus many others.
Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 Detailed Summary
Senate and House Statutory Reform by Amending the Lobbyist Disclosure Act, the Federal Election Campaign Act, the Ethics in Government Act, the Indian
Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, and Revising Congressional Pension Provisions in the Civil Service Retirement System
Closing the Revolving Door
Prohibits Senators from gaining undue lobbying access by increasing the "cooling off" period for Senators from one to two years before they can
Prohibits Cabinet Secretaries and other very senior executive personnel from lobbying the department or agency in which they worked for two years
after they leave their position.
Prohibits senior Senate staff and Senate officers from lobbying contacts with the entire Senate for one year, instead of just their former employing
Prohibits senior House staff from lobbying their former office or Committee for one year after they leave House employment.
Requires that executive and legislative branch employees who leave government positions and seek to lobby on behalf of Indian tribes face the same
revolving door provisions as others. It exempts those who serve as elected or appointed officials of Indian tribes.
Ending the Pay-to-Play K Street Project
Prohibits Members and their staff from influencing hiring decisions of private organizations on the sole basis of partisan political gain. Subjects
those who violate this provision to a fine and imprisonment for up to 15 years.
Prohibiting Gifts by Lobbyists
Prohibits lobbyists from providing gifts or travel to Members of Congress with knowledge that the gift or travel is in violation of House or Senate
Full Public Disclosure of Lobbying Activity
Requires lobbyist disclosure filings to be filed twice as often, by decreasing the time between filing from semi-annual to quarterly.
Requires lobbyist disclosures in both the Senate and House to be filed electronically and requires creation of a public searchable Internet database
of such information.
Increases civil penalty for knowing and willful violations of the Lobby Disclosure Act from $50,000 to $200,000 and imposes a criminal penalty of up
to five years for knowing and corrupt failure to comply with the Act.
Requires the Government Accountability Office to audit annually lobbyist compliance with disclosure rules.
Requires lobbyists to certify they have not given gifts or travel that would violate Senate or House rules.
Requires the disclosure of businesses or organizations that contribute more than $5,000 and actively participate in lobbying activities by certain
coalitions and associations.
New Transparency for Lobbyist Political Donations, Bundling and other Financial Contributions
Requires disclosure to the Federal Election Commission when lobbyists bundle over $15,000 semiannually in campaign contributions for any federal
elected official, candidate (including Senate, House and Presidential), or leadership PAC.
Requires lobbyists to disclose to the Secretary of the Senate and the House Clerk their campaign contributions, and payments to Presidential
libraries, Inaugural Committees or entities controlled by, named for or honoring Members of Congress.
Congressional Pension Accountability
Denies Congressional retirement benefits to Members of Congress who are convicted of bribery, perjury, conspiracy or other related crimes in the
course of carrying out their official duties as a Member of Congress.
Prohibited Use of Private Aircraft
Requires that candidates, other than those running for a seat in the House, pay the fair market value of airfare (charter rates) when using
non-commercial jets to travel. (This impacts Senate, Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates)
Requires candidates for the House to comply with rule XXIII (15), which prohibits use of non-commercial aircraft.
Toughening Penalties for Falsifying Financial Disclosure Forms
Increases the penalty for Members of Congress, Senior Staff and Senior Executive officials for falsifying or failing to report financial disclosure
forms from $10,000 to $50,000 and establishes criminal penalties of up to one year of imprisonment.
AMENDING HOUSE ETHICS RULES:
Disclosure by Members and Staff of Employment Negotiations
Prohibits Members from engaging in any agreements or negotiations about future employment until a successor has been selected unless the Member files
a statement with the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct; and requires that Members recuse themselves from any matter in which there is a
conflict of interest or appearance of a conflict.
Requires senior staff to notify the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct within three days if they engage in negotiations or agreements for
future employment or compensation.
Prohibition on Lobbying Contacts with Spouses who Are Registered Lobbyists
Requires that Members prohibit their staff from having any lobbying contact with the Member's spouse if such individual is a registered lobbyist or
is employed or retained by a registered lobbyist to influence legislation.
Posting of Travel and Financial Disclosure Reports on the Internet
Requires that travel by members financed by outside groups be posted on a searchable, sortable and downloadable website by August 1, 2008.
Requires that Members' financial disclosure forms be posted on a searchable, sortable and downloadable website by August 1, 2008
Participation in Lobbyist Sponsored Events During Political Conventions
Prohibits Members from attending parties held in their honor at national party conventions if they have been sponsored by lobbyists, unless the Member
is the party's presidential or vice presidential nominee.
AMENDING SENATE ETHICS RULES:
Allows the Senate to delete "dead of night" additions from conference reports (when the new matter was not approved by either House) unless 60
Senators vote in favor of keeping the matter in the conference report.
Seeks to end secret Senate holds by requiring the Senator placing a hold on a legislative matter or nomination publicly disclose that hold within five