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New Lobbying Disclosure Rules & Congressional Gift and Travel Rules PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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New Lobbying Disclosure Rules & Congressional Gift and Travel Rules. Presented by Mayer Brown LLP Mary Streett Andrew Kugler Joe Seliga. New Rules – New Consequences. The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 was enacted into law on September 14, 2007.

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New Lobbying Disclosure Rules & Congressional Gift and Travel Rules

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New Lobbying Disclosure Rules & Congressional Gift and Travel Rules

Presented by Mayer Brown LLP

Mary Streett

Andrew Kugler

Joe Seliga


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New Rules – New Consequences

  • The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 was enacted into law on September 14, 2007.

  • The law is far-reaching and significantly changes the system governing lobbyists and organizations that employ lobbyists.


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New Rules – New Consequences

  • Among the changes in the law:

    • Bans gifts from lobbyists and lobbyist employers to Members of Congress and their staff

    • Significantly increases the frequency and scope of lobbyist disclosure (including with respect to contributions)

    • Holds lobbyists and lobbyist employers liable for improper gifts and disclosures


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ENFORCEMENT - LDA

  • Donor Liability – The Lobbying Disclosure Act (“LDA”) was amended to make lobbyists and lobbyist employers liable for providing gifts or travel known not to be permitted by Senate or House rules.

  • Increased Penalties – The LDA was amended to increase civil penalties for violations and add criminal penalties (up to 5 years in prison and/or fines under Title 18 of the U.S. Code) for “knowingly and corruptly” violating the law.

  • GAO audits.


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Topics

  • New Lobbyist Disclosure Rules

  • New Gift Rules

  • Federal Campaign Contribution Limits and Corporate Facilitation


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New Semi-Annual Disclosure LDA-203

  • Both Lobbyists and Lobbyists’ Employers (LDA Registrants) will be required to file a semi-annual report detailing political contributions, donations, and other expenditures made to, or for the benefit of, covered legislative and executive branch officials. The report will be due 30 days after the end of each semi-annual period.


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Contents of LDA-203

  • Certification – With each semi-annual report, lobbyists and lobbyist employers must provide a certification that:(1) they are familiar with the House and Senate gift rules, and (2) they have not provided, requested, or directed a gift (including travel) to a Member or staff in violation of such rules.


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LDA 203 Disclosures: Federal Political Contributions

  • Federal political contributions made by the filer and any political committee “established or controlled” by the filer.

    • The Corporation must report the contributions of its connected PAC.

    • Lobbyist that sits on the board of a PAC or is treasurer of a PAC must disclose applicable contributions and payments of the PAC on the lobbyist’s LDA-203.


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LDA 203 Disclosures of “Other Donations”

  • Payments to pay the cost of an event to “honor” or “recognize” a covered legislative or executive branch official.


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Required Disclosures of “Other Donations”

  • Example: The March of Dimes hold its annual dinner and invites Senator Clinton and Speaker Pelosi to be “honored guests.” Corporation contributes $3,000 to the March of Dimes for the dinner.

  • The Corporation would disclose a payment of $3,000 to the March of Dimes with the notation that Senator Clinton and Speaker Pelosi were “honored guests”.


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Required Disclosures of “Other Donations”

  • Example: The Corporation holds an event at the Mayflower with Senator McCain listed on the invitation as an attendee. Senator Obama is listed on the invitation as a speaker. The Corporation pays $10,000 to the caterer and $5000 to the Mayflower to partially fund the event.

  • The Corporation would disclosure that it paid $10,000 to caterer and $5000 to the Mayflower for an event “recognizing” McCain and Obama.


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LDA 203 Disclosures of “Other Donations”

  • To an entity that is named for a covered legislative branch official, or to a person/entity in recognition of such official.

    • Example: Lobbyist writes a check to the University of Texas to help endow the “Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson Chair in Economics”: Reportable by lobbyist, including date, amount and name of member.


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LDA 203 Disclosures of “Other Donations”

  • To an entity established, financed, maintained, or controlled by a covered official; or an entity designated by such official.

    • Example: Donations to Member associated charities: Reportable

    • Example: NRSC or DCCC retreat: Reportable as Federal Political Contribution if $200 or more


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LDA 203 Disclosures of “Other Donations”

  • To pay costs of a meeting, retreat, conference, or similar event held by, or in the name of a covered official

    • Example: After checking with the Senate Ethics Committee to make sure the payment was permissible under the gift rules, Corporation pays $10,000 to attend “Senator McCain’s Conference on Climate Change”: Reportable

    • Donations to Presidential Inaugural Committee or Presidential Libraries: Reportable


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Internal Compliance Procedures

  • Request/Record of Payments

  • Quarterly Sub-certifications


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LDA REQUEST & RECORD OF PAYMENTS

Name of Requestor:__Andrew Kugler _______Request Date: ____________________

Approved by:__Mary Streett__________________ Date: _________________________


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CONTENT OF THE DIVISION SUB-CERTIFICATION

  • I have read and am familiar with the House and Senate Gift Rules.

  • I have provided copies of the House and Senate Gift Rules to the individuals in my division who are likely to have direct contact with Members of Congress or their staff, plan events where Members of Congress or their staff may be in attendance, or are in a position to approve expenses that may relate to activities involving Members of Congress or their staff.


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CONTENT OF THE DIVISION SUB-CERTIFICATION

  • This division has not provided, requested, or directed a gift to a Member of Congress or their staff in violation of these rules.

  • The attached “Lobbying Disclosure Act Record of Payments” contains the list of all funds paid, contributed or arranged by the division for the following activities during the period of certification:

    • Meetings, conferences, or similar events attended by, for the benefit of or named for any Legislative or Executive branch employee.

    • Any entity established, maintained, or controlled by any Legislative or Executive branch employee.

    • Presidential Inaugural Committees or Library Foundations.


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QUESTIONS?Press *1 on your telephone

For more information please contact us at:

Mary [email protected] Andrew [email protected]

Joe [email protected]

19


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Topics

  • New Lobbyist Disclosure Rules

  • New Gift Rules

  • Federal Campaign Contribution Limits and Corporate Facilitation


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New Gift Rules

  • Bottom line: With limited exceptions, lobbyists, entities that employ or retain lobbyists and foreign agents are prohibited from giving ANY gifts to Members of Congress or staff

    • Ban applies to all employees of a company that employs or retains lobbyists

  • Lobbyists must now certify compliance with gift rules

  • Subject to potential civil and criminal penalties


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Meals

Personal hospitality

Discounts

Entertainment

Transportation

Lodging

New Gift RulesWhat is covered?

The term “gift” essentially means anything of monetary value, including—


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New Gift RulesWhat is covered?

  • Gifts to entities controlled by Member or staffer

  • Gifts to family and friends if—

    • Given with the knowledge and acquiescence of the Member or staffer; and

    • Member or staffer has reason to believe they were given because of official position

  • Charitable donations made at behest of Member or staffer


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Exceptions to Gift BanPersonal Friendship

Gifts up to $250 based on personal friendship are permissible. Factors include—

  • History of the relationship

  • Tax deduction or reimbursement sought?

  • Similar gifts given to other Members or staffers?


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Exceptions to Gift BanWidely Attended Events

Free attendance at conferences, conventions, dinners and other events is permissible if–

  • Event is “widely attended”;

  • Invitation came from sponsor of event; and

  • Attendance is related to official duties


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Exceptions to Gift BanOther types of permissible events

  • Appetizers only

  • Charity Fundraisers

    - Charity must be recognized by IRS

    - Invitation must come from sponsor

  • Fundraising and Campaign Events

  • National Convention Events


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Travel Ban

  • Travel rules prohibit a company that retains/employs lobbyist from paying for officially connected travel expenses for Members of Congress and their staff, except under very limited circumstances that require pre-approval from the House and/or Senate Ethics Committees.


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LDA 203 Semi-Annual Reports

  • Applies to LDA registrants and individuals who have been listed as active lobbyists by their employer-registrant

  • Must certify compliance with gift and travel rules

  • Subject to potential civil and criminal penalties

  • Best practices


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QUESTIONS?Press *1 on your telephone

For more information please contact us at:

Mary [email protected] Andrew [email protected]

Joe [email protected]

29


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Topics

  • New Lobbyist Disclosure Rules

  • New Gift Rules

  • Federal Campaign Contribution Limits and Corporate Facilitation


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Federal Election Campaign Law


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Federal Election Campaign Law:Contribution Limits for Individuals

  • To Candidates: $2,300 per each election (a primary, a general, etc.) with biennial limit of $42,700* to all candidates

  • To Corporate or Non-connected PACs: $5,000 per individual, per calendar year, with a biennial limit of $65,500* to all PACs and parties (with no more than $42,700 going to state and local parties and PACs)

    *Limit is indexed for inflation and adjusted at the beginning of each election cycle.


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Federal Election Campaign Law:Contribution Limits for PACs

  • To Candidates: $10,000 per election cycle ($5,000 for primary, $5,000 for general)*

  • To PACs: $5,000 per year

  • To State and Local Parties: $5,000 aggregated to all party committees in a state per year (unless local committee’s independence can be demonstrated)

  • To National Parties: $15,000 per year

    * once multi-candidate status has been reached


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Federal Election Campaign Law:Prohibited Contributions

  • Contributions in excess of legal limits

  • Contributions by corporations, labor organizations

  • Contributions “made in the name of another”— including reimbursed contributions

  • Contributions by non-citizens of the U.S. not admitted for permanent residence


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Corporate Facilitation

  • The rules generally require that any such use of resources must be paid for in advance by a source that may lawfully contribute under the federal campaign laws, such as the corporation's PAC, its employees from personal funds (within their lawful contribution limits), or the candidate's campaign. Advance payment is required for the use of a broad range of corporate resources, including:

    • staff time of corporate employees;

    • any corporate-owned lists, such as customer or supplier lists; and

    • food or other catering or services provided or arranged by the corporation.


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QUESTIONS?Press *1 on your telephone

For more information please contact us at:

Mary [email protected] Andrew [email protected]

Joe [email protected]


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