US House passes lobbying reform bills

[JURIST] The US House of Representatives [official website] passed two measures Thursday that would require stricter regulation of lobbying practices. The Lobbying Transparency Act [HR 2317 summary], which passed 382-37 [roll call], would amend the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 [text] to require more stringent disclosure of bundled contributions given by a lobbyist to a lawmaker. Currently, donors who bundle their contributions may remain anonymous, although individual donors are required to submit reports. The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act [HR 2316 summary], which passed 396-22 [roll call], would require more frequent disclosure reports for contributions by lobbyists, would place greater restrictions on gifts given to members of Congress, and would increase penalties for failure to comply with lobbying measures. AP has more.

In January, the US Senate [official website] overwhelmingly passed the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act [S 1, summary], which similarly required disclosure of those bundling contributions and also placed a two-year freeze on former lawmakers before allowing them to become lobbyists. The House has rejected the two-year hiatus stipulation [AP report], asserting that a one-year freeze is sufficient.

 

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