Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (11/16/1995)

Amends rule LII of the Rules of the House of Representatives to replace provisions establishing the Office of Compliance and providing for application of certain laws to the House with provisions that prohibit a House Member, officer, or employee from knowingly accepting any gift, except as provided in this Act.

Considers a gift to a family member to be a gift to such Member, officer, or employee if given with his or her knowledge and acquiescence and if he or she has reason to believe that the gift was given because of his or her official position.

Treats only the food and refreshment provided to such Member, officer, or employee as a gift if food and refreshment are also provided at the same time and place to such individual's spouse or dependent.

Includes among exempted items: (1) contributions lawfully made under the Federal Election Campaign Act, a lawful contribution for election to a State or local government, or attendance at a fund raising event sponsored by a political organization; (2) a gift from a relative ; (3) anything provided on the basis of a personal friendship unless such Member, officer, or employee has reason to believe that the gift was provided because of his or her official position; (4) otherwise lawful contributions to such individual's legal expense fund; (5) food, refreshments, lodging, transportation, and other benefits which result from the outside business or employment activities of such Member, officer, or employee or spouse if such benefits have not been offered or enhanced because of such individual's official position, which are customarily provided by a prospective employer in connection with bona fide employment discussions, or which are provided by a political organization in connection with a fund raising or campaign event; (6) training that is the House's interest; (7) a gift of personal hospitality of an individual other than a registered lobbyist or agent of a foreign principal; and (8) certain other opportunities and benefits provided to the public or to Government employees generally.

Permits such Member, officer, or employee to accept an offer of free attendance at a convention, dinner, or similar event, excluding reimbursement for transportation and lodging, if: (1) he or she participates in the event as a speaker or a panel participant, by presenting information related to the Congress or matters before the Congress, or by performing a ceremonial function appropriate to his or her official position; or (2) attendance at the event is appropriate to the performance of his or her official duties or representative function.

Prohibits the acceptance of a gift exceeding $250 on the basis of the personal friendship exception unless the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct issues a written determination that such exception applies.

Provides that certain reimbursements to such Member, officer, or employee from private sources other than registered lobbyists or foreign agents for travel expenses to an event in connection with official duties shall not be considered to be gifts if advance authorization is received and the reimbursements and authorization are disclosed within a specified time period. Declares that activities that are substantially recreational in nature shall not be considered to be in connection with official duties.

Includes as prohibited gifts to such Member, officer, or employee from a registered lobbyist or an agent of a foreign principal: (1) anything provided to an entity that is maintained or controlled by such Member, officer, or employee; (2) a charitable contribution made on the basis of such Member's, officer's, or employee's specification, with the exception of a mass mailing or other solicitation directed to a broad category of persons or entities; (3) a contribution or other payment to such Member's, officer's, or employee's legal expense fund; and (4) a financial contribution or expenditure made relating to a conference or similar event sponsored by, or affiliated with, an official congressional organization for, or on behalf of, such Members, officers, or employees. Provides that a charitable contribution made by a registered lobbyist or agent in lieu of an honorarium to such Member, officer, or employee shall not be considered a gift under this Act if such Member, officer, or employee reports to the Clerk of the House the name and address of the registered lobbyist, the date and amount of the contribution, and the name and address of the designated or recommended charitable organization.

Declares that such rules shall be interpreted and enforced solely by the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.

Amends rule X to revise the functions of the Committee on House Oversight to include accepting a gift not otherwise provided for by law if such gift does not involve any duty, burden, or condition or is not made dependent upon some future performance by the House.