Text: H.Res.1018 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (03/04/2008)


110th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. RES. 1018


Amending the Rules of the House of Representatives to establish the House Ethics Commission.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 4, 2008

Mr. Hill (for himself, Mr. Wamp, Mr. Boyd of Florida, Mr. Moore of Kansas, Mr. Matheson, Mr. Donnelly, Mr. Melancon, Mr. Mahoney of Florida, Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Kingston, Mr. Rogers of Kentucky, Mr. Smith of New Jersey, and Mr. Goode) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Rules


RESOLUTION

Amending the Rules of the House of Representatives to establish the House Ethics Commission.

Resolved,

    ESTABLISHMENT OF THE HOUSE ETHICS COMMISSION

section 1. The Rules of the House of Representatives are amended by redesignating rules XXVII and XXVIII as rules XXVIII and XXIX, respectively, and by inserting after rule XXVI the following new rule:

“Rule XXVII

“House Ethics Commission

“1. There is established in the House an independent commission to be known as the House Ethics Commission (hereinafter in this rule referred to as the ‘Commission’).

“2. (a) The Commission shall consist of 12 individuals. Three current Democratic Members and three former Democratic Members shall be appointed by the Republican leader and three current Republican Members and three former Republican Members by the Democratic leader. Except as provided by paragraph (b), the terms of all members of the Commission shall be two years and no member may serve for more than six years.

“(b) Of the members first appointed—

“(1) two appointed by each leader shall be for a term of two years;

“(2) two appointed by each leader shall be for a term of four years; and

“(3) two appointed by each leader shall be for a term of six years;

as designated by each such leader at the time of appointment.

“(c) The chairman and the vice chairman of the Commission shall be selected by the members of the Commission at its first meeting. No member may serve for more than one two-year term as chairman and no member may serve for more than one two-year term as vice chairman.

“(d)(1) Only former and current Members of the House shall be eligible for appointment to the Commission.

“(2)(A) No individual who has been a lobbyist registered under the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 or engages in, or is otherwise employed in, lobbying of the Congress or who is an agent of a foreign principal registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act within the four-year period immediately preceding appointment shall be eligible for appointment to, or service on, the Commission.

“(B) Except as provided by subparagraph (a), no member of the Commission may be an elected public official or an officer or employee of the Government.

“(3) A vacancy on the Commission shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made.

“(e) Members shall each be entitled to receive the daily equivalent of the maximum annual rate of basic pay in effect for Level III of the Executive Schedule for each day (including travel time) during which they are engaged in the actual performance of duties vested in the Commission.

“(f) A majority of the members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum.

“(g) The Commission shall meet at the call of the chairman or a majority of its members.

“3. The Commission is authorized—

“(1) to investigate any alleged violation, by a Member, officer, or employee of the House, of any law, rule, regulation, or other standard of conduct applicable to the conduct of such Member, officer, or employee in the performance of his duties or the discharge of his responsibilities, and after notice and hearing (unless the right to a hearing is waived by the Member, officer, or employee), shall report to the House its findings of fact and recommendations, if any, upon the final disposition of any such investigation, and such action as the Commission may deem appropriate in the circumstances;

“(2) to issue any letter of reproval or admonishment with respect to such an alleged violation;

“(3) to report to the appropriate Federal or State authorities any substantial evidence of a violation, by a Member, officer, or employee of the House, of any law applicable to the performance of his duties or the discharge of his responsibilities, which may have been disclosed in a Commission investigation; and

“(4) to adopt rules governing its procedures to provide protections to respondents comparable to those that were provided by clause 3 of rule XI in effect immediately before the amendments to such rule before the date of adoption of this rule.

“4. (a) The Commission or, on the authority of the Commission, the chairman or vice chairman, may, for the purpose of carrying out its duties—

“(1) hold such hearings and sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, receive such evidence, administer such oaths; and

“(2) subject to paragraph (b), require, by subpoena or otherwise, the attendance and testimony of such witnesses and the production of such books, records, correspondence, memoranda, papers, and documents, as the Commission or the chairman or vice chairman may determine advisable.

“(b) A subpoena may be issued only under the signature of the chairman or the vice chairman, and may be served by any person designated by the chairman or the vice chairman.

“(c) Upon request of the Commission, the head of any agency or instrumentality of the Government shall furnish information deemed necessary by the panel to enable it to carry out its duties.

“5. (a) No report or recommendation relating to the official conduct of a Member, officer, or employee of the House shall be made by the Commission, and no investigation of such conduct shall be undertaken by the Commission, unless approved by the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Commission.

“(b) Except in the case of an investigation undertaken by the Commission on its own initiative, the Commission may undertake an investigation relating to the official conduct of an individual Member, officer, or employee of the House only—

“(1) upon receipt of a complaint, in writing and under oath, made by or submitted to a Member and transmitted to the Commission by such Member,

“(2) upon receipt of a complaint from the chairman of the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, in writing and under oath, made by that committee, or

“(3) upon receipt of a complaint from four of its members of whom two are Democratic and two are Republican.

“(c) No investigation shall be undertaken by the Commission of any alleged violation of a law, rule, regulation, or standard of conduct not in effect at the time of the alleged violation.

“(d) No information or testimony received, or the contents of a complaint or the fact of its filing, shall be publicly disclosed by any member of the Commission or staff of the Commission unless specifically authorized in each instance by a vote of the Commission.

“6. The Commission may appoint and fix the compensation of such staff as the Commission considers necessary to perform its duties. The director shall be appointed jointly by the Speaker and minority leader and shall be paid at a rate not to exceed the rate of basic pay payable for Level III of the Executive Schedule.

“7. (a) Upon receipt by the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct of any report of the Commission, the Speaker shall have the report printed in the Congressional Record.

“(b) Within 14 calendar days after a report referred to in paragraph (a) is printed in the Congressional Record, that portion of the report recommending action by the House respecting any alleged violation, by a Member, officer, or employee of the House, of any law, rule, regulation, or other standard of conduct applicable to the conduct of such Member, officer, or employee in the performance of his duties or the discharge of his responsibilities shall be introduced (by request) in the House by the Speaker, for himself and the minority leader in the form of a resolution. This resolution shall constitute a question of privilege under rule IX. Any Member favoring the resolution may call it up as a question of privilege but only on the third day after the calendar date upon which such Member announces to the House his intention to do so.

“8. As used in this rule, the term ‘Member’ means any Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the Congress.”.

    AMENDMENTS TO THE RULES OF THE HOUSE TO CHANGE THE DUTIES OF THE COMMITTEE ON STANDARDS OF OFFICIAL CONDUCT

Sec. 2. Clause 3 of rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives is amended as follows:

(1) In paragraph (a), strike subparagraphs (1), (2), and (3), and redesignate subparagraphs (4), (5), and (6), as subparagraphs (1), (2), and (3), respectively.

(2)(A) Paragraph (b)(1) is amended by striking “(A)”, by striking “a resolution, report, recommendation, or” and inserting “an”, and by striking “, or, except as provided in subparagraph (2), undertake an investigation”, and by striking subdivision (B).

(B) Paragraph (b) is further amended by striking subparagraphs (2), (3), (4), and (5) and by redesignating subparagraphs (6) and (7) as subparagraphs (2) and (3), respectively.

(3) Strike paragraphs (j), (k), (l), (m), (n), (o), (p), and (q).

    EFFECTIVE DATE

Sec. 3. This resolution and the amendments made by it shall take effect immediately before noon January 3, 2009.