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116th Congress    }                                {    Rept. 116-403
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                {           Part 1

======================================================================



 
     EXECUTIVE BRANCH COMPREHENSIVE ETHICS ENFORCEMENT ACT OF 2019

                                _______
                                

 February 21, 2020.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mrs. Carolyn B. Maloney of New York, from the Committee on Oversight 
                  and Reform, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                             MINORITY VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 745]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Oversight and Reform, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 745) to amend the Ethics in Government Act of 
1978 to provide for reform in the operations of the Office of 
Government Ethics, and for other purposes, having considered 
the same, reports favorably thereon with an amendment and 
recommends that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Summary and Purpose of Legislation...............................     5
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     5
Section-by-Section Analysis......................................     7
Legislative History..............................................     9
Committee Consideration..........................................    10
Roll Call Votes..................................................    10
Explanation of Amendments........................................    16
List of Related Committee Hearings...............................    16
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................    16
Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives............    16
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................    16
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................    16
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................    17
Federal Advisory Committee Act Statement.........................    17
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act Statement...........................    17
Earmark Identification...........................................    17
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................    17
New Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost 
  Estimate.......................................................    17
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............    20
Minority Views...................................................    29

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Executive Branch Comprehensive Ethics 
Enforcement Act of 2019''.

SEC. 2. REAUTHORIZATION OF THE OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS.

  Section 405 of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) 
is amended by striking ``fiscal year 2007'' and inserting ``fiscal 
years 2019 through 2023.''.

SEC. 3. TENURE OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS.

  Section 401(b) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. 
App.) is amended by striking the period at the end and inserting ``, 
subject to removal only for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or 
malfeasance in office. The Director may continue to serve beyond the 
expiration of the term until a successor is appointed and has 
qualified, except that the Director may not continue to serve for more 
than one year after the date on which the term would otherwise expire 
under this subsection.''.

SEC. 4. DUTIES OF DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS.

  (a) In General.--Section 402(a) of the Ethics in Government Act of 
1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) is amended by striking ``, in consultation with 
the Office of Personnel Management,''.
  (b) Responsibilities of the Director.--Section 402(b) of the Ethics 
in Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) is amended--
          (1) in paragraph (1)--
                  (A) by striking ``developing, in consultation with 
                the Attorney General and the Office of Personnel 
                Management, rules and regulations to be promulgated by 
                the President or the Director'' and inserting 
                ``developing and promulgating rules and regulations''; 
                and
                  (B) by striking ``title II'' and inserting ``title 
                I'';
          (2) by striking paragraph (2) and inserting the following:
          ``(2) providing mandatory education and training programs for 
        designated agency ethics officials, which may be delegated to 
        each agency or the White House Counsel as deemed appropriate by 
        the Director;'';
          (3) in paragraph (3), by striking ``title II'' and inserting 
        ``title I'';
          (4) in paragraph (4), by striking ``problems'' and inserting 
        ``issues'';
          (5) in paragraph (6)--
                  (A) by striking ``issued by the President or the 
                Director''; and
                  (B) by striking ``problems'' and inserting 
                ``issues'';
          (6) in paragraph (7)--
                  (A) by striking ``, when requested,''; and
                  (B) by striking ``conflict of interest problems'' and 
                inserting ``conflicts of interest, as well as other 
                ethics issues'';
          (7) in paragraph (9)--
                  (A) by striking ``ordering'' and inserting 
                ``receiving allegations of violations of this Act or 
                regulations of the Office of Government Ethics and, 
                when necessary, investigating an allegation to 
                determine whether a violation occurred, and ordering''; 
                and
                  (B) by inserting before the semi-colon the following: 
                ``, and recommending appropriate disciplinary action'';
          (8) in paragraph (12)--
                  (A) by striking ``evaluating, with the assistance 
                of'' and inserting ``promulgating, with input from'';
                  (B) by striking ``the need for'';
                  (C) by striking ``conflict of interest and ethical 
                problems'' and inserting ``conflict of interest and 
                ethics issues'';
          (9) in paragraph (13)--
                  (A) by striking ``with the Attorney General'' and 
                inserting ``with the Inspectors General and the 
                Attorney General'';
                  (B) by striking ``violations of the conflict of 
                interest laws'' and inserting ``conflict of interest 
                issues and allegations of violations of ethics laws and 
                regulations and this Act''; and
                  (C) by striking ``, as required by section 535 of 
                title 28, United States Code'';
          (10) in paragraph (14), by striking ``and'' at the end;
          (11) in paragraph (15)--
                  (A) by striking ``, in consultation with the Office 
                of Personnel Management,'';
                  (B) by striking ``title II'' and inserting ``title 
                I''; and
                  (C) by striking the period at the end and inserting a 
                semicolon; and
          (12) by adding at the end the following:
          ``(16) directing and providing final approval, when 
        determined appropriate by the Director, for designated agency 
        ethics officials regarding the resolution of conflicts of 
        interest as well as any other ethics issues under the purview 
        of this Act in individual cases; and
          ``(17) reviewing and approving, when determined appropriate 
        by the Director, any recusals, exemptions, or waivers from the 
        conflicts of interest and ethics laws, rules, and regulations 
        and making approved recusals, exemptions, and waivers made 
        publicly available by the relevant agency available in a 
        central location on the official website of the Office of 
        Government Ethics.''.
  (c) Written Procedures.--Paragraph (1) of section 402(d) of the 
Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) is amended--
          (1) by striking ``, by the exercise of any authority 
        otherwise available to the Director under this title,'';
          (2) by striking ``the agency is''; and
          (3) by inserting after ``filed by'' the following: ``, or 
        written documentation of recusals, waivers, or ethics 
        authorizations relating to,''.
  (d) Corrective Actions.--Section 402(f) of the Ethics in Government 
Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) is amended--
          (1) in paragraph (1)--
                  (A) in clause (i) of subparagraph (A), by striking 
                ``of such agency''; and
                  (B) in subparagraph (B), by inserting before the 
                period at the end ``and determine that a violation of 
                this Act has occurred and issue appropriate 
                administrative or legal remedies as prescribed in 
                paragraph (2)'';
          (2) in paragraph (2)--
                  (A) in subparagraph (A)--
                          (i) in clause (ii)--
                                  (I) in subclause (I)--
                                          (aa) by inserting ``to the 
                                        President or the President's 
                                        designee if the matter involves 
                                        employees of the Executive 
                                        Office of the President or'' 
                                        after ``may recommend'';
                                          (bb) by striking ``and'' at 
                                        the end; and
                                  (II) in subclause (II)--
                                          (aa) by inserting ``President 
                                        or'' after ``determines that 
                                        the''; and
                                          (bb) by adding ``and'' at the 
                                        end;
                          (ii) in subclause (II) of clause (iii)--
                                  (I) by striking ``notify, in 
                                writing,'' and inserting ``advise the 
                                President or order'';
                                  (II) by inserting ``to take 
                                appropriate disciplinary action 
                                including reprimand, suspension, 
                                demotion, or dismissal against the 
                                officer or employee (provided, however, 
                                that any order issued by the Director 
                                shall not affect an employee's right to 
                                appeal a disciplinary action under 
                                applicable law, regulation, collective 
                                bargaining agreement, or contractual 
                                provision).'' after ``employee's 
                                agency''; and
                                  (III) by striking ``of the officer's 
                                or employee's noncompliance, except 
                                that, if the officer or employee 
                                involved is the agency head, the 
                                notification shall instead be submitted 
                                to the President; and''; and
                          (iii) by striking clause (iv);
                  (B) in subparagraph (B)(i)--
                          (i) by striking ``subparagraph (A)(iii) or 
                        (iv)'' and inserting ``subparagraph (A)'';
                          (ii) by inserting ``(I)'' before ``In order 
                        to''; and
                          (iii) by adding at the end the following:
                  ``(II)(aa) The Director may secure directly from any 
                agency information necessary to enable the Director to 
                carry out this Act. Upon request of the Director, the 
                head of such agency shall furnish that information to 
                the Director.
                  ``(bb) The Director may require by subpoena the 
                production of all information, documents, reports, 
                answers, records, accounts, papers, and other data in 
                any medium and documentary evidence necessary in the 
                performance of the functions assigned by this Act, 
                which subpoena, in the case of refusal to obey, shall 
                be enforceable by order of any appropriate United 
                States district court.'';
                  (C) in subparagraph (B)(ii)(I)--
                          (i) by striking ``Subject to clause (iv) of 
                        this subparagraph, before'' and inserting 
                        ``Before''; and
                          (ii) by striking ``subparagraphs (A) (iii) or 
                        (iv)'' and inserting ``subparagraph (A)(iii)'';
                  (D) in subparagraph (B)(iii), by striking ``Subject 
                to clause (iv) of this subparagraph, before'' and 
                inserting ``Before''; and
                  (E) in subparagraph (B)(iv)--
                          (i) by striking ``title 2'' and inserting 
                        ``title I''; and
                          (ii) by striking ``section 206'' and 
                        inserting ``section 106''; and
          (3) in paragraph (4), by striking ``(iv),''.
  (e) Definitions.--Section 402 of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 
(5 U.S.C. App.) is amended by adding at the end the following:
  ``(g) For purposes of this title--
          ``(1) the term `agency' shall include the Executive Office of 
        the President; and
          ``(2) the term `officer or employee' shall include any 
        individual occupying a position, providing any official 
        services, or acting in an advisory capacity, in the White House 
        or the Executive Office of the President.
  ``(h) In this title, a reference to the head of an agency shall 
include the President or the President's designee.
  ``(i) The Director shall not be required to obtain the prior 
approval, comment, or review of any officer or agency of the United 
States, including the Office of Management and Budget, before 
submitting to Congress, or any committee or subcommittee thereof, any 
information, reports, recommendations, testimony, or comments, if such 
submissions include a statement indicating that the views expressed 
therein are those of the Director and do not necessarily represent the 
views of the President.''.

SEC. 5. AGENCY ETHICS OFFICIALS TRAINING AND DUTIES.

  (a) In General.--Section 403 of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 
(5 U.S.C. App.) is amended--
          (1) in subsection (a), by adding a period at the end of the 
        matter following paragraph (2); and
          (2) by adding at the end the following:
  ``(c)(1) All designated agency ethics officials and alternate 
designated agency ethics officials shall register with the Director as 
well as with the appointing authority of the official.
  ``(2) The Director shall provide ethics education and training to all 
designated and alternate designated agency ethics officials in a time 
and manner deemed appropriate by the Director.
  ``(3) Each designated agency ethics official and each alternate 
designated agency ethics official shall biannually attend ethics 
education and training, as provided by the Director under paragraph 
(2).
  ``(d) Each Designated Agency Ethics Official, including the 
Designated Agency Ethics Official for the Executive Office of the 
President--
          ``(1) shall provide to the Director, in writing, in a 
        searchable, sortable, and downloadable format, all approvals, 
        authorizations, certifications, compliance reviews, 
        determinations, directed divestitures, public financial 
        disclosure reports, notices of deficiency in compliance, 
        records related to the approval or acceptance of gifts, 
        recusals, regulatory or statutory advisory opinions, waivers, 
        including waivers under section 207 or 208 of title 18, United 
        States Code, and any other records designated by the Director, 
        unless disclosure is prohibited by law;
          ``(2) shall, for all information described in paragraph (1) 
        that is permitted to be disclosed to the public under law, make 
        the information available to the public by publishing the 
        information on the website of the Office of Government Ethics, 
        providing a link to download an electronic copy of the 
        information, or providing printed paper copies of such 
        information to the public; and
          ``(3) may charge a reasonable fee for the cost of providing 
        paper copies of the information pursuant to paragraph (2).
  ``(e)(1) For all information that is provided by an agency to the 
Director under paragraph (1) of subsection (d), the Director shall make 
the information available to the public in a searchable, sortable, 
downloadable format by publishing the information on the website of the 
Office of Government Ethics or providing a link to download an 
electronic copy of the information.
  ``(2) The Director may, upon request, provide printed paper copies of 
the information published under paragraph (1) and charge a reasonable 
fee for the cost of printing such copies.''.
  (b) Repeal.--Section 408 of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 
U.S.C. App.) is hereby repealed.

                   Summary and Purpose of Legislation

    The Executive Branch Comprehensive Ethics Enforcement Act 
of 2019 would reauthorize the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) 
and improve its ability to monitor and enforce federal ethics 
laws, issue ethics rules and regulations, and investigate 
ethics violations in the Executive Branch.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    OGE is the independent agency responsible for establishing 
ethics policy for the Executive Branch and monitoring 
compliance. Although OGE is charged with identifying and 
resolving violations of ethics laws and regulations, the system 
currently relies largely on historical norms and self-
reporting, and OGE lacks sufficient authority to investigate 
and compel compliance. As Rudy A. Mehrbani, former Director of 
the Presidential Personnel Office and Spitzer Fellow and Senior 
Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice, described in written 
testimony to the Committee, the current Administration has 
exposed these weaknesses in its lax adherence to the Ethics in 
Government Act of 1978:

          In short, we can no longer assume that presidents 
        will follow the norms and practices of their 
        predecessors. Presidents may simply not show the same 
        commitment to ethics rules as we have come to expect. 
        And as we have seen, past erosion will lead to future 
        abuse. We need a broader set of reforms to ensure our 
        leaders remain committed to using their powers to 
        advance the people's interests. That begins with 
        enshrining transparency requirements in law so the 
        public can identify improper influences, providing a 
        mechanism for ensuring accountability when abuse 
        occurs, and eliminating avenues for personnel to handle 
        matters involving their personal or financial 
        interests.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Committee on Oversight and Reform, Written Testimony of Rudy A. 
Mehrbani, Spitzer Fellow and Senior Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice 
at New York University School of Law, Hearing on H.R. 1: Strengthening 
Ethics Rules for the Executive Branch (Feb. 6, 2019) (online at https:/
/docs.house.gov/meetings/GO/GO00/20190206/108837/HHRG-116-GO00-Wstate-
MehrbaniR-20190206.pdf).

    H.R. 745 would address existing weaknesses in federal 
ethics laws and empower OGE to enforce federal ethics laws and 
regulations within a strong system of checks and balances.
    Former OGE Director Walter Shaub testified at a hearing 
regarding the Executive Branch Comprehensive Ethics Enforcement 
Act that, under existing law, ``OGE can ask agencies to conduct 
investigations and can request copies of records, but it has no 
power to do anything if they ignore these requests.''\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Committee on Oversight and Reform, Hearing on H.R. 1: 
Strengthening Ethics Rules for the Executive Branch (Feb. 6, 2019) 
(online at https://oversight.house.gov/legislation/hearings/hr-1-
strengthening-ethics-rules-for-the-executive-branch).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H.R. 745 would authorize the Director of OGE to issue 
subpoenas for documents and enforce subpoenas in federal court. 
This authority is analogous to the authority granted to 
inspectors general and the Office of Special Counsel.\3\ By 
providing OGE subpoena power, H.R. 745 would give OGE the power 
to compel compliance with its requests for documents and 
information. Without such power, OGE will likely face 
significant challenges in conducting ethics investigations, 
given this Administration's defiance of its authority.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\5 U.S.C. Sec. 431.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mr. Mehrbani testified that the current Administration has 
``made unprecedented claims about the applicability of OGE's 
rules and regulations.''\4\ On February 28, 2017, then-White 
House Counsel Stefan Passantino wrote to then-OGE Director 
Walter Shaub that ``many regulations promulgated by the Office 
of Government Ethics (``OGE'') do not apply to employees of the 
Executive Office of the President.''\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Committee on Oversight and Reform, Written Testimony of Rudy A. 
Mehrbani, Spitzer Fellow and Senior Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice 
at New York University School of Law, Hearing on H.R. 1: Strengthening 
Ethics Rules for the Executive Branch (Feb. 6, 2019).
    \5\Letter from Stefan C. Passantino, Deputy Counsel to the 
President, Compliance and Ethics, to Walter M. Shaub, Jr., Director, 
Office of Government Ethics (Feb. 28, 2017) (online at https://
apps.npr.org/documents/document.html?id=3477259-WH-to-OGE-28Feb17).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition, on April 28, 2017, OGE issued a directive that 
required all agencies, including the White House, to provide 
information and documents related to certain ethics waivers and 
authorizations issued to Executive Branch appointees from May 
1, 2016, through April 30, 2017. The OGE directive sought 
information related to the White House process for issuing 
waivers of the ethics pledge required by Executive Order 
13770.\6\ OGE reviewed this information to evaluate procedures 
for issuing waivers and authorizations and reported that the 
White House ``never provided OGE or made available to the 
public signed or dated copies of 10 waivers it issued under 
Executive Order 13770'' and ``did not fully respond to OGE's 
follow-up questions.''\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\Office of Government Ethics, PA-17-02, Data Call for Certain 
Waivers and Authorizations (Apr. 28, 2017) (online at www.oge.gov/web/
OGE.nsf/Program%20Management%20Advisories/
5B5DECAECCE6CB8185258110007ADC76/$FILE/PA-17-02.pdf?open). See also 
Executive Order Number 13770, Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch 
Appointees, 82 Fed. Reg. 9333 (Jan. 28, 2017) (online at 
www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2017-02-03/pdf/2017-02450.pdf).
    \7\Office of Government Ethics, Special Review of Executive Branch 
Agency Waivers & Authorizations (Sept. 2017) (online at https://
oge.gov/web/OGE.nsf/0/F916A3C42996EF618525819A006D12EB/$FILE/
Final%20Report%20Package%20.pdf).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In response to the current Administration's novel 
interpretation of existing law and regulation, and in order to 
clarify the scope of OGE's jurisdiction, H.R. 745 would amend 
the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to state that all officers 
or employees serving in the Executive Branch--including White 
House personnel and employees of the Executive Office of the 
President--are subject to the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 
(5 U.S.C. App.).
    H.R. 745 also would allow the Director to issue 
administrative penalties for violations of the Ethics in 
Government Act. These new authorities--subpoena power and 
administrative penalties--would provide OGE the tools necessary 
to investigate and expose ethics violations.
    H.R. 745 also would require all designated and alternate 
agency ethics officials to: (i) register with OGE and with the 
official's appointing authority; (ii) attend OGE trainings 
biannually and as determined appropriate by the Director; and 
(iii) provide ethics-related documents--as required by statute 
or regulation or otherwise designated by the Director--to OGE 
and make them publicly available, unless disclosure is 
prohibited by law.
    These new proactive disclosure requirements would increase 
the transparency of compliance with ethics laws and 
regulations. The increased transparency would also lead to 
greater accountability by allowing Congress and the public to 
see how Executive Branch agencies and officials manage 
conflicts and resolve ethical issues. Such increased 
transparency would help foster increased public trust in 
government.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title

    The short title is the ``Executive Branch Comprehensive 
Ethics Enforcement Act of 2019''.

Section 2. Reauthorization of the Office of Government Ethics

    Section 2 reauthorizes the Office of Government Ethics 
through fiscal year 2023.

Section 3. Tenure of the Director of the Office of Government Ethics

    Section 3 prohibits the removal of the Director for 
anything other than inefficiency, neglect of duty, or 
malfeasance in office. It also permits the Director to serve 
for up to one year beyond the expiration of a term if a 
successor has not been appointed.

Sec. 4. Duties of the Director of the Office of Government Ethics

            Subsection (a)--In General
    Subsection (a) amends section 402(a) of the Ethics in 
Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) to clarify that the 
Director of OGE has authority to provide overall direction of 
Executive Branch policies related to conflicts of interest and 
does not have to consult with the Office of Personnel 
Management (OPM) in providing such direction.
            Subsection (b)--Responsibilities of the Director
    Paragraph (1) of subsection (b) amends section 402(b) of 
the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) to clarify 
that OGE has primary authority to issue rules and regulations 
pertaining to conflicts of interest and ethics in the Executive 
Branch and does not have to consult with the OPM in developing 
or promulgating such regulations.
    Paragraph (2) of subsection (b) further amends section 
402(b) to require the Director to provide mandatory education 
and training programs for designated agency ethics officials.
    Paragraphs (3), (4), (5), (10), and (11) of subsection (b) 
make various technical and clerical changes to section 402(b).
    Paragraph (6) of subsection (b) further amends section 
402(b) to clarify that the Director may consult with agency 
ethics counselors regarding the resolution of conflicts of 
interest and other ethics issues in individual cases.
    Paragraph (7) of subsection (b) further amends section 
402(b) to provide the Director clear authority to investigate 
allegations of violations of ethics laws and order corrective 
action.
    Paragraph (8) of subsection (b) further amends section 
402(b) to clarify that the Director has primary authority to 
promulgate changes in rules and regulations issued by the 
Director and agencies regarding conflict of interest and ethics 
issues, with input from the Attorney General and the Director 
of OPM.
    Paragraph (9) of subsection (b) further amends section 
402(b) to require the Director to work with Inspectors General 
and the Attorney General to develop an effective system for 
reporting allegations of conflict of interest issues and 
allegations of violations of ethics laws and regulations to the 
Attorney General.
    Paragraph (12) of subsection (b) further amends section 
402(b) to: (i) establish the authority of the Director of OGE 
to direct designated agency ethics officials and approve 
resolutions of conflicts of interest and other ethics issues in 
individual cases; and (ii) review and approve recusals, 
exemptions, and waivers from the conflicts of interest and 
ethics laws, rules, and regulations and to make such approved 
recusals, exemptions, and waivers publicly available on the OGE 
website.
            Subsection (c)--Written Procedures
    Subsection (c) amends section 402(d) of the Ethics in 
Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) to clarify the 
Director's authority to ensure that each agency has appropriate 
written procedures related to financial disclosure statements, 
recusals, waivers, and ethics authorizations.
            Subsection (d)--Corrective Actions
    Paragraph (1) of subsection (d) amends section 402(f) of 
the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) to give 
the Director the authority to determine that a violation of the 
Ethics in Government Act of 1978 has occurred and issue 
appropriate administrative or legal remedies.
    Paragraph (2) of subsection (d) further amends section 
402(f)(i) to clarify that the Director of OGE may advise the 
President or order the head of an agency to take disciplinary 
action in the event of a violation of a rule, regulation, or 
Executive Order relating to conflicts of interest or standards 
of conduct, and (ii) to grant the Director of OGE the authority 
to secure information necessary to enable the Director to carry 
out the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 and to grant the 
Director the authority to issue and seek enforcement of 
subpoenas for such information.
    Clauses (C) and (D) of paragraph (2), and paragraph (3) of 
subsection (d) make technical changes to section 402(f).
            Subsection (e)--Definitions
    Subsection (e) amends section 402 of the Ethics in 
Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) by adding new sections 
g, h, and i, which clarify: (i) that a reference to an officer 
or employee of an agency in the Act encompasses personnel at 
the White House and the Executive Office of the President; (ii) 
that a reference to the head of an agency in the Act includes 
the President or the President's designee; and (iii) that the 
Director shall have independent authority to submit information 
to Congress if such submissions include a statement indicating 
that the views expressed in the submission are those of the 
Director and do not necessarily represent the views of the 
President.

Sec. 5. Agency ethics officials training and duties

            Subsection (a)--In General
    Subsection (a) amends section 403 of the Ethics in 
Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.) to add new subsections 
to require: (i) designated and alternate agency ethics 
officials to register with the Office of Government Ethics; 
(ii) the Director to provide training to all designated and 
alternate agency ethics officials; (iii) all designated and 
alternate agency ethics officials attend ethics education and 
training biannually and as required by the Director; and (iv) 
agencies to provide certain information related to resolutions 
of conflict of interest, waivers, and recusals to the Director 
of OGE and to the public in a searchable, sortable, and 
downloadable form.
            Subsection (b)--Repeal
    Subsection (b) repeals section 408 of the Ethics in 
Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.), which requires the 
Director to provide certain reports to Congress.

                          Legislative History

    On May 21, 2018, during the 115th Congress, Representative 
Jamie Raskin (D-MD) introduced H.R. 5902, the Executive Branch 
Comprehensive Ethics Enforcement Act of 2018. The bill was 
referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
    During the 116th Congress, on January 24, 2019, 
Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD), along with Representative 
Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Chairman of the Committee, and 
Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Chairman of the Committee 
on the Judiciary, introduced H.R. 745, the Executive Branch 
Comprehensive Ethics Enforcement Act of 2019.
    On January 3, 2019, Representative John Sarbanes (D-MD) 
introduced H.R. 1, the For the People Act, and the bill was 
referred to various committees for consideration, including the 
Committee on Oversight and Reform. The Executive Branch 
Comprehensive Ethics Enforcement Act of 2019 comprised Subtitle 
D of Title VIII of H.R. 1.
    On February 6, 2019, the Committee held a hearing to 
examine the proposals in H.R. 1 in the Committee's 
jurisdiction, including the Executive Branch Comprehensive 
Ethics Enforcement Act of 2019. The Committee heard testimony 
from Scott Amey, General Counsel of the Project on Government 
Oversight; Karen Hobert Flynn, President of Common Cause; Rudy 
Mehrbani, Spitzer Fellow and Senior Counsel out the Brennan 
Center for Justice; Walter Shaub, Jr., Senior Advisor at 
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington; and 
Bradley A. Smith, Chairman of the Institute for Free Speech.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\Committee on Oversight and Reform, Hearing on H.R. 1: 
Strengthening Ethics Rules for the Executive Branch (Feb. 6, 2019) 
(online at https://oversight.house.gov/legislation/hearings/hr-1-
strengthening-ethics-rules-for-the-executive-branch).
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    On March 26, 2019, the Committee considered H.R. 745 at a 
business meeting with a quorum present. The Committee ordered 
the bill reported favorably, as amended, by a recorded vote of 
18-15.

                        Committee Consideration

    On March 26, 2019, the Committee considered H.R. 745 at a 
business meeting with a quorum present. Chairman Cummings 
offered an amendment in the nature of a substitute (ANS).
    Representative W. Greg Steube (R-FL) offered an amendment 
to the ANS that would authorize $17,019,000 for OGE. The 
amendment failed by voice vote.
    Representative Mark Green (R-TN) offered an amendment to 
the ANS that would refer Michael Cohen to the Department of 
Justice for criminal investigation. The amendment was ruled 
non-germane by Chairman Cummings. Representative Green appealed 
the ruling of the Chairman. Representative Raskin moved to 
table the appeal of the ruling of the Chairman. Representative 
Raskin's motion to table the appeal of the ruling of the 
Chairman passed by a recorded vote of 18-6.
    Representative Mark Meadows (R-NC) offered an amendment to 
the ANS to add ``unprofessional political communication'' to a 
list of reasons for cause of removal of the Director of OGE. 
The amendment failed by a recorded vote of 14-17.
    Representative Meadows (R-NC) offered an amendment to the 
ANS that would strike certain provisions of the bill related to 
the authorities of the Director. The amendment failed by voice 
vote.
    Representative Jody Hice (R-GA) offered an amendment to the 
ANS that would strike the language in the bill granting the 
Director authority to issue a subpoena. The amendment failed by 
a recorded vote of 14-17.
    Representative Hice (R-GA) offered an amendment to the ANS 
that would strike the language in the bill granting the 
Director authority to investigate ethical misconduct. The 
amendment failed by a recorded vote of 15-18.
    The ANS was adopted by a voice vote, and the Committee 
ordered the bill reported favorably, as amended, by a recorded 
vote of 18-15.

                            Roll Call Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
following roll call votes occurred during the Committee's 
consideration of H.R. 745:

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]

                       Explanation of Amendments

    During Committee consideration of the bill, Representative 
Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Chairman of the Committee, offered an 
ANS that modified the bill's language to clarify OGE's 
independent authority to issue ethics regulations, require 
trainings and publication of disclosures, and provide overall 
direction of executive branch ethics policies. The Committee 
adopted the ANS by a voice vote.

                   List of Related Committee Hearings

    In accordance with section 103(i) of H. Res. 6, the 
Committee held a hearing to consider the proposals set forth in 
the Executive Branch Comprehensive Ethics Enforcement Act on 
February 6, 2019, as part of a hearing to examine the proposals 
in H.R. 1 that were in the Committee's jurisdiction.

  Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
(2)(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee finds that the current 
Administration's behavior and attitude regarding laws and 
regulations related to ethics and conflicts of interest have 
exposed weaknesses in the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, 
such that the Committee recommends the adoption of this bill 
(H.R. 745) to bolster existing ethics laws and regulations and 
expand the authority of OGE in an effort to ensure that 
executive branch officials comply with ethics laws and rules.

         Statement of General Performance Goals and Objectives

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee's performance 
goal or objective of this bill is to amend the Ethics in 
Government Act of 1978 to provide for reform in the operations 
of OGE, and for other purposes.

              Application of Law to the Legislative Branch

    Section 102(b)(3) of Public Law 104-1 requires a 
description of the application of this bill to the legislative 
branch when the bill relates to the terms and conditions of 
employment or access to public services and accommodations. 
This bill amends the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to 
provide for reform in the operations of OGE, which is the 
independent agency responsible for establishing ethics policy 
for the Executive Branch and monitoring compliance. As such, 
this bill does not relate to employment or access to public 
services and accommodations in the legislative branch.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    In accordance with clause 3(c)(5) of rule XIII, no 
provision of this bill establishes or reauthorizes a program of 
the Federal Government known to be duplicative of another 
Federal program, a program that was included in any report from 
the Government Accountability Office to Congress pursuant to 
section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program related to a 
program identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal 
Domestic Assistance.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    This bill does not direct the completion of any specific 
rule makings within the meaning of section 551 of title 5, 
United States Code.

                Federal Advisory Committee Act Statement

    The legislation does not establish or authorize the 
establishment of an advisory committee within the definition of 
Section 5(b) of the appendix to title 5, United States Code.

                 Unfunded Mandates Reform Act Statement

    Pursuant to section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974, the Committee has included a letter received from the 
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) below.

                         Earmark Identification

    This bill does not include any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI of the House of Representatives.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(2)(B) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee includes below a 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of CBO under 
section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

   New Budget Authority and Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the House of 
Representatives, the cost estimate prepared by CBO and 
submitted pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974 is as follows:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, May 13, 2019.
Hon. Elijah E. Cummings,
Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Reform,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 745, the Executive 
Branch Comprehensive Ethics Enforcement Act of 2019.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Matthew 
Pickford.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
    

    Bill summary: H.R. 745 would reauthorize the operations of 
the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, strengthen OGE's roles, 
and authorize the agency to investigate and adjudicate ethics 
violations in the executive branch.
    Estimated Federal cost: The estimated budgetary effect of 
H.R. 745 is shown in Table 1. The costs of the legislation fall 
within budget function 800 (general government).

                TABLE 1.--ESTIMATED INCREASES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION UNDER H.R. 745
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           By fiscal year, millions of dollars--
                                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------
                                             2019      2020      2021      2022      2023      2024    2019-2024
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Reauthorize the Office of Government
 Ethics:
    Estimated Authorizationa.............         0        18        18        19        20         0         75
    Estimated Outlays....................         0        17        18        18        20         2         75
Other Provisons:
    Estimated Authorization..............         0         5        10        15        15        20         65
    Estimated Outlays....................         0         5        10        15        15        20         65
    Total Changes:
        Estimated Authorization..........         0        23        28        34        35        20        140
        Estimated Outlays................         0        22        28        33        35        22        140
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aThe Office of Government Ethics received an appropriation of $17 million for 2019.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
745 will be enacted near the end of fiscal year 2019 and that 
the necessary amounts will be appropriated each year beginning 
in 2020. Estimated outlays are based on historical spending 
patterns.
    OGE oversees ethics programs in the executive branch and 
works with around 5,000 ethics personnel in about 130 agencies. 
The office issues rules and advises more than 2.7 million 
federal employees on ethical conduct. It also oversees a 
financial disclosure system covering more than 26,000 public 
and nearly 400,000 confidential disclosure reports from federal 
employees.
    Spending subject to appropriation: In total, CBO estimates 
that implementing the bill would cost $140 million over the 
2019-2024 period.
    Reauthorize the Office of Government Ethics. Section 2 of 
the bill would authorize the appropriation of whatever amounts 
are necessary to operate OGE over the 2019-2023 period. In 
2019, OGE received an appropriation of $17 million. CBO 
estimates that the cost of continuing OGE's current activities, 
including adjustments for anticipated inflation, would total 
$75 million over the 2020-2024 period.
    Other Provisions. Section 4 of the bill would expand OGE's 
responsibilities to include investigating possible ethics 
violations, reviewing violations and determining appropriate 
disciplinary actions, and making information about agency 
activities available to the public online. Under H.R.745 
federal agencies would need to provide additional information 
to OGE on their compliance with ethic laws and would need to 
expand ethics training for all employees.
    CBO expects that OGE's expanded role under the bill would 
be similar to other agencies such as the Office of Special 
Counsel (OSC) and the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA). 
OSC investigates allegations of prohibited personnel practices, 
prosecutes violators of civil service rules and regulations, 
and enforces the Hatch Act. The FLRA administers labor-
management relations for 2.1 million non-postal federal 
employees. (For 2019, OSC received an appropriation of $27 
million and the FLRA received $26 million.) Based on the costs 
of those activities at OSC, the FLRA, and other similar 
agencies, CBO estimates that OGE's costs would increase 
gradually as it developed its investigative and disciplinary 
capabilities. In addition, the agencies that work with OGE 
would face increased administrative costs because of more and 
different interactions with OGE. In total, CBO estimates that 
implementing section 4 would cost $5 million in 2020 and $65 
million over the 2020-2024 period.
    Revenues: Enacting H.R. 745 could affect federal revenues 
if OGE's expanded role led to the detection of more violations 
of ethics laws. The collection of civil penalties are recorded 
in the budget as revenues. However, CBO does not estimate that 
there would be any significant increase in ethics violations 
and associated penalties under H.R. 745.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: The Statutory Pay-As-You-Go 
Act of 2010 establishes budget reporting and enforcement 
procedures for legislation affecting direct spending and 
revenues. CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 745 would increase 
revenues by an insignificant amount over the 2019-2029 period.
    Increase in long-term deficits: None
    Mandates: None
    Prepared by: Federal costs: Matthew Pickford; Mandates: 
Andrew Laughlin.
    Estimate reviewed by: Kim P. Cawley, Chief, Natural 
Resources and Cost Estimates Unit; H. Samuel Papenfuss; Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italics, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

                    ETHICS IN GOVERNMENT ACT OF 1978




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
                 TITLE IV--OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS


                 establishment; appointment of director

  Sec. 401. (a) There is established an executive agency to be 
known as the Office of Government Ethics.
  (b) There shall be at the head of the Office of Government 
Ethics a Director (hereinafter referred to as the 
``Director''), who shall be appointed by the President, by and 
with the advice and consent of the Senate. Effective with 
respect to any individual appointed or reappointed by the 
President as Director on or after October 1, 1983, the term of 
service of the Director shall be five years[.], subject to 
removal only for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance 
in office. The Director may continue to serve beyond the 
expiration of the term until a successor is appointed and has 
qualified, except that the Director may not continue to serve 
for more than one year after the date on which the term would 
otherwise expire under this subsection.
  (c) The Director may--
          (1) appoint officers and employees, including 
        attorneys, in accordance with chapter 51 and subchapter 
        III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code; and
          (2) contract for financial and administrative 
        services (including those related to budget and 
        accounting, financial reporting, personnel, and 
        procurement) with the General Services Administration, 
        or such other Federal agency as the Director determines 
        appropriate, for which payment shall be made in 
        advance, or by reimbursement, from funds of the Office 
        of Government Ethics in such amounts as may be agreed 
        upon by the Director and the head of the agency 
        providing such services.
Contract authority under paragraph (2) shall be effective for 
any fiscal year only to the extent that appropriations are 
available for that purpose.

                        authority and functions

  Sec. 402. (a) The Director shall provide[, in consultation 
with the Office of Personnel Management,] overall direction of 
executive branch policies related to preventing conflicts of 
interest on the part of officers and employees of any executive 
agency, as defined in section 105 of title 5, United States 
Code.
  (b) The responsibilities of the Director shall include--
          (1) [developing, in consultation with the Attorney 
        General and the Office of Personnel Management, rules 
        and regulations to be promulgated by the President or 
        the Director] developing and promulgating rules and 
        regulations pertaining to conflicts of interest and 
        ethics in the executive branch, including rules and 
        regulations establishing procedures for the filing, 
        review, and public availability of financial statements 
        filed by officers and employees in the executive branch 
        as required by [title II] title I of this Act;
          [(2) developing, in consultation with the Attorney 
        General and the Office of Personnel Management, rules 
        and regulations to be promulgated by the President or 
        the Director pertaining to the identification and 
        resolution of conflicts of interest;]
          (2) providing mandatory education and training 
        programs for designated agency ethics officials, which 
        may be delegated to each agency or the White House 
        Counsel as deemed appropriate by the Director;
          (3) monitoring and investigating compliance with the 
        public financial disclosure requirements of [title II] 
        title I of this Act by officers and employees of the 
        executive branch and executive agency officials 
        responsible for receiving, reviewing, and making 
        available financial statements filed pursuant to such 
        title;
          (4) conducting a review of financial statements to 
        determine whether such statements reveal possible 
        violations of applicable conflict of interest laws or 
        regulations and recommending appropriate action to 
        correct any conflict of interest or ethical [problems] 
        issues revealed by such review;
          (5) monitoring and investigating individual and 
        agency compliance with any additional financial 
        reporting and internal review requirements established 
        by law for the executive branch;
          (6) interpreting rules and regulations [issued by the 
        President or the Director] governing conflict of 
        interest and ethical [problems] issues and the filing 
        of financial statements;
          (7) consulting[, when requested,] with agency ethics 
        counselors and other responsible officials regarding 
        the resolution of [conflict of interest problems] 
        conflicts of interest, as well as other ethics issues 
        in individual cases;
          (8) establishing a formal advisory opinion service 
        whereby advisory opinions are rendered on matters of 
        general applicability or on important matters of first 
        impression after, to the extent practicable, providing 
        interested parties with an opportunity to transmit 
        written comments with respect to the request for such 
        advisory opinion, and whereby such advisory opinions 
        are compiled, published, and made available to agency 
        ethics counselors and the public;
          (9) [ordering] receiving allegations of violations of 
        this Act or regulations of the Office of Government 
        Ethics and, when necessary, investigating an allegation 
        to determine whether a violation occurred, and ordering 
        corrective action on the part of agencies and employees 
        which the Director deems necessary, and recommending 
        appropriate disciplinary action;
          (10) requiring such reports from executive agencies 
        as the Director deems necessary;
          (11) assisting the Attorney General in evaluating the 
        effectiveness of the conflict of interest laws and in 
        recommending appropriate amendments;
          (12) [evaluating, with the assistance of] 
        promulgating, with input from the Attorney General and 
        the Office of Personal Management, [the need for] 
        changes in rules and regulations issued by the Director 
        and the agencies regarding [conflict of interest and 
        ethical problems] conflict of interest and ethics 
        issues, with a view toward making such rules and 
        regulations consistent with and an effective supplement 
        to the conflict of interest laws;
          (13) cooperating [with the Attorney General] with the 
        Inspectors General and the Attorney General in 
        developing an effective system for reporting 
        allegations of [violations of the conflict of interest 
        laws] conflict of interest issues and allegations of 
        violations of ethics laws and regulations and this Act 
        to the Attorney General[, as required by section 535 of 
        title 28, United States Code];
          (14) providing information on and promoting 
        understanding of ethical standards in executive 
        agencies; [and]
          (15) developing[, in consultation with the Office of 
        Personnel Management,] and promulgating such rules and 
        regulations as the Director determines necessary or 
        desirable with respect to the evaluation of any item 
        required to be reported by [title II] title I of this 
        Act[.];
          (16) directing and providing final approval, when 
        determined appropriate by the Director, for designated 
        agency ethics officials regarding the resolution of 
        conflicts of interest as well as any other ethics 
        issues under the purview of this Act in individual 
        cases; and
          (17) reviewing and approving, when determined 
        appropriate by the Director, any recusals, exemptions, 
        or waivers from the conflicts of interest and ethics 
        laws, rules, and regulations and making approved 
        recusals, exemptions, and waivers made publicly 
        available by the relevant agency available in a central 
        location on the official website of the Office of 
        Government Ethics.
  (c) In the development of policies, rules, regulations, 
procedures, and forms to be recommended, authorized, or 
prescribed by him, the Director shall consult when appropriate 
with the executive agencies affected and with the Attorney 
General.
  (d)(1) The Director shall[, by the exercise of any authority 
otherwise available to the Director under this title,] ensure 
that each executive agency has established written procedures 
relating to how [the agency is] to collect, review, evaluate, 
and, if applicable, make publicly available, financial 
disclosure statements filed by, or written documentation of 
recusals, waivers, or ethics authorizations relating to, any of 
its officers or employees.
  (2) In carrying out paragraph (1), the Director shall ensure 
that each agency's procedures are in conformance with all 
applicable requirements, whether established by law, rule, 
regulation, or Executive order.
  (e) In carrying out subsection (b)(10), the Director shall 
prescribe regulations under which--
          (1) each executive agency shall be required to submit 
        to the Office an annual report containing--
                  (A) a description and evaluation of the 
                agency's ethics program, including any 
                educational, counseling in effect during the 
                period covered by the report; and
                  (B) the position title and duties of--
                          (i) each official who was designated 
                        by the agency head to have primary 
                        responsibility for the administration, 
                        coordination, and management of the 
                        agency's ethics program during any 
                        portion of the period covered by the 
                        report; and
                          (ii) each officer or employee who was 
                        designated to serve as an alternate to 
                        the official having primary 
                        responsibility during any portion on 
                        such period; and
                  (C) any other information that the Director 
                may require in order to carry out the 
                responsibilities of the Director under this 
                title; and
          (2) each executive agency shall be required to inform 
        the Director upon referral of any alleged violation of 
        Federal conflict of interest law to the Attorney 
        General pursuant to section 535 of title 28, United 
        States Code, except that nothing under this paragraph 
        shall require any notification or disclosure which 
        would otherwise be prohibited by law.
  (f)(1) In carrying out subsection (b)(9) with respect to 
executive agencies, the Director--
          (A) may--
                  (i) order specific corrective action on the 
                part of an agency based on the failure [of such 
                agency] to establish a system for the 
                collection, filing, review, and, when 
                applicable, public inspection of financial 
                disclosure statements, in accordance with 
                applicable requirements, or to modify an 
                existing system in order to meet applicable 
                requirements; or
                  (ii) order specific corrective action 
                involving the establishment or modification of 
                an agency ethics program (other than with 
                respect to any matter under clause (i)) in 
                accordance with applicable requirements; and
          (B) shall, if an agency has not complied with an 
        order under subparagraph (A) within a reasonable period 
        of time, notify the President and the Congress of the 
        agency's noncompliance in writing (including, with the 
        notification, any written comments which the agency may 
        provide). and determine that a violation of this Act 
        has occurred and issue appropriate administrative or 
        legal remedies as prescribed in paragraph (2)
  (2)(A) In carrying out subsection (b)(9) with respect to 
individual officers and employees--
          (i) the Director may make such recommendations and 
        provide such advice to such officers and employees as 
        the Director considers necessary to ensure compliance 
        with rules, regulations, and Executive orders relating 
        to conflicts of interest or standards of conduct;
          (ii) if the Director has reason to believe that an 
        officer or employee is violating, or has violated, any 
        rule, regulation, or Executive order relating to 
        conflicts of interest or standards of conduct, the 
        Director--
                  (I) may recommend to the President or the 
                President's designee if the matter involves 
                employees of the Executive Office of the 
                President or to the head of the officer's or 
                employee's agency that such agency head 
                investigate the possible violation and, if the 
                agency head finds such a violation, that such 
                agency head take any appropriate disciplinary 
                action (such as reprimand, suspension, 
                demotion, or dismissal) against the officer or 
                employee, except that, if the officer or 
                employee involved is the agency head, any such 
                recommendation shall instead be submitted to 
                the President; [and]
                  (II) shall notify the President in writing if 
                the Director determines that the President or 
                head of an agency has not conducted an 
                investigation pursuant to subclause (I) within 
                a reasonable time after the Director recommends 
                such action; and
          (iii) if the Director finds that an officer or 
        employee is violating any rule, regulation, or 
        Executive order relating to conflicts of interest or 
        standards of conduct, the Director--
                  (I) may order the officer or employee to take 
                specific action (such as divestiture, recusal, 
                or the establishment of a blind trust) to end 
                such violation; and
                  (II) shall, if the officer or employee has 
                not complied with the order under subclause (I) 
                within a reasonable period of time, [notify, in 
                writing,] advise the President or order the 
                head of the officer's or employee's agency to 
                take appropriate disciplinary action including 
                reprimand, suspension, demotion, or dismissal 
                against the officer or employee (provided, 
                however, that any order issued by the Director 
                shall not affect an employee's right to appeal 
                a disciplinary action under applicable law, 
                regulation, collective bargaining agreement, or 
                contractual provision). [of the officer's or 
                employee's noncompliance, except that, if the 
                officer or employee involved is the agency 
                head, the notification shall instead be 
                submitted to the President; and]
          [(iv) if the Director finds that an officer or 
        employee is violating, or has violated, any rule, 
        regulation, or Executive order relating to conflicts of 
        interest or standards of conduct, the Director--
                  [(I) may recommend to the head of the 
                officer's or employee's agency that appropriate 
                disciplinary action (such as reprimand, 
                suspension, demotion, or dismissal) be brought 
                against the officer or employee, except that if 
                the officer or employee involved is the agency 
                head, any such recommendations shall instead be 
                submitted to the President; and
                  [(II) may notify the President in writing if 
                the Director determines that the head of an 
                agency has not taken appropriate disciplinary 
                action within a reasonable period of time after 
                the Director recommends such action.]
  (B)(i)(I) In order to carry out the Director's duties and 
responsibilities under subparagraph (A) (iii) or (iv) with 
respect to individual officers and employees, the Director may 
conduct investigations and make findings concerning possible 
violations of any rule, regulation, or Executive order relating 
to conflicts of interest or standards of conduct applicable to 
officers and employees of the executive branch.
                  (II)(aa) The Director may secure directly 
                from any agency information necessary to enable 
                the Director to carry out this Act. Upon 
                request of the Director, the head of such 
                agency shall furnish that information to the 
                Director.
                  (bb) The Director may require by subpoena the 
                production of all information, documents, 
                reports, answers, records, accounts, papers, 
                and other data in any medium and documentary 
                evidence necessary in the performance of the 
                functions assigned by this Act, which subpoena, 
                in the case of refusal to obey, shall be 
                enforceable by order of any appropriate United 
                States district court.
  (ii)(I) [Subject to clause (iv) of this subparagraph, before] 
Before any finding is made under [subparagraphs (A) (iii) or 
(iv)] subparagraph (A)(iii), the officer or employee involved 
shall be afforded notification of the alleged violation, and an 
opportunity to comment, either orally or in writing, on the 
alleged violation.
  (II) The Director shall, in accordance with section 553 of 
title 5, United States Code, establish procedures for such 
notification and comment.
  (iii) [Subject to clause (iv) of this subparagraph, before] 
Before any action is ordered under subparagraph (A)(iii), the 
officer or employee involved shall be afforded an opportunity 
for a hearing, if requested by such officer or employee, except 
that any such hearing shall be conducted on the record.
  (iv) The procedures described in clauses (ii) and (iii) of 
this subparagraph do not apply to findings or orders for action 
made to obtain compliance with the financial disclosure 
requirements in [title 2] title I of this Act. For those 
findings and orders, the procedures in [section 206] section 
106 of this Act shall apply.
  (3) The Director shall send a copy of any order under 
paragraph (2)(A)(iii) to--
          (A) the officer or employee who is the subject of 
        such order; and
          (B) the head of officer's or employee's agency or, if 
        such officer or employee is the agency head, to the 
        President.
  (4) For purposes of paragraphs (2)(A) (ii), (iii), [(iv),] 
and (3)(B), in the case of an officer or employee within an 
agency which is headed by a board, committee, or other group of 
individuals (rather than by a single individual), any 
notification, recommendation, or other matter which would 
otherwise be sent to an agency head shall instead be sent to 
the officer's or employee's appointing authority.
  (5) Nothing in this title shall be considered to allow the 
Director (or any designee) to make any finding that a provision 
of title 18, United States Code, or any criminal law of the 
United States outside of such title, has been or is being 
violated.
  (6) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no record 
developed pursuant to the authority of this section concerning 
an investigation of an individual for a violation of any rule, 
regulation, or Executive order relating to a conflict of 
interest shall be made available pursuant to section 552(a)(3) 
of title 5, United States Code, unless the request for such 
information identifies the individual to whom such records 
relate and the subject matter of any alleged violation to which 
such records relate, except that nothing in this subsection 
shall affect the application of the provisions of section 
552(b) of title 5, United States Code, to any record so 
identified.
  (g) For purposes of this title--
          (1) the term ``agency'' shall include the Executive 
        Office of the President; and
          (2) the term ``officer or employee'' shall include 
        any individual occupying a position, providing any 
        official services, or acting in an advisory capacity, 
        in the White House or the Executive Office of the 
        President.
  (h) In this title, a reference to the head of an agency shall 
include the President or the President's designee.
  (i) The Director shall not be required to obtain the prior 
approval, comment, or review of any officer or agency of the 
United States, including the Office of Management and Budget, 
before submitting to Congress, or any committee or subcommittee 
thereof, any information, reports, recommendations, testimony, 
or comments, if such submissions include a statement indicating 
that the views expressed therein are those of the Director and 
do not necessarily represent the views of the President.

                       administrative provisions

  Sec. 403. (a) Upon the request of the Director, each 
executive agency is directed to--
          (1) make its services, personnel, and facilities 
        available to the Director to the greatest practicable 
        extent for the performance of functions under this Act; 
        and
          (2) except when prohibited by law, furnish to the 
        Director all information and records in its possession 
        which the Director may determine to be necessary for 
        the performance of his duties.
The authority of the Director under this section includes the 
authority to request assistance from the inspector general of 
an agency in conducting investigations pursuant to the Office 
of Government Ethics responsibilities under this Act. The head 
of any agency may detail such personnel and furnish such 
services, with or without reimbursement, as the Director may 
request to carry out the provisions of this Act.
  (b)(1) The Director is authorized to accept and utilize on 
behalf of the United States, any gift, donation, bequest, or 
devise of money, use of facilities, personal property, or 
services for the purpose of aiding or facilitating the work of 
the Office of Government Ethics.
  (2) No gift may be accepted--
          (A) that attaches conditions inconsistent with 
        applicable laws or regulations; or
          (B) that is conditioned upon or will require the 
        expenditure of appropriated funds that are not 
        available to the Office of Government Ethics.
  (3) The Director shall establish written rules setting forth 
the criteria to be used in determining whether the acceptance 
of contributions of money, services, use of facilities, or 
personal property under this subsection would reflect 
unfavorably upon the ability of the Office of Government 
Ethics, or any employee of such Office, to carry out its 
responsibilities or official duties in a fair and objective 
manner, or would compromise the integrity or the appearance of 
the integrity of its programs or any official involved in those 
programs.
  (c)(1) All designated agency ethics officials and alternate 
designated agency ethics officials shall register with the 
Director as well as with the appointing authority of the 
official.
  (2) The Director shall provide ethics education and training 
to all designated and alternate designated agency ethics 
officials in a time and manner deemed appropriate by the 
Director.
  (3) Each designated agency ethics official and each alternate 
designated agency ethics official shall biannually attend 
ethics education and training, as provided by the Director 
under paragraph (2).
  (d) Each Designated Agency Ethics Official, including the 
Designated Agency Ethics Official for the Executive Office of 
the President--
          (1) shall provide to the Director, in writing, in a 
        searchable, sortable, and downloadable format, all 
        approvals, authorizations, certifications, compliance 
        reviews, determinations, directed divestitures, public 
        financial disclosure reports, notices of deficiency in 
        compliance, records related to the approval or 
        acceptance of gifts, recusals, regulatory or statutory 
        advisory opinions, waivers, including waivers under 
        section 207 or 208 of title 18, United States Code, and 
        any other records designated by the Director, unless 
        disclosure is prohibited by law;
          (2) shall, for all information described in paragraph 
        (1) that is permitted to be disclosed to the public 
        under law, make the information available to the public 
        by publishing the information on the website of the 
        Office of Government Ethics, providing a link to 
        download an electronic copy of the information, or 
        providing printed paper copies of such information to 
        the public; and
          (3) may charge a reasonable fee for the cost of 
        providing paper copies of the information pursuant to 
        paragraph (2).
  (e)(1) For all information that is provided by an agency to 
the Director under paragraph (1) of subsection (d), the 
Director shall make the information available to the public in 
a searchable, sortable, downloadable format by publishing the 
information on the website of the Office of Government Ethics 
or providing a link to download an electronic copy of the 
information.
  (2) The Director may, upon request, provide printed paper 
copies of the information published under paragraph (1) and 
charge a reasonable fee for the cost of printing such copies.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                    authorization of appropriations

  Sec. 405. There are authorized to be appropriated to carry 
out this title such sums as may be necessary for [fiscal year 
2007] fiscal years 2019 through 2023.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                          [reports to congress

  [Sec. 408. The Director shall, no later than April 30 of each 
year in which the second session of a Congress begins, submit 
to the Congress a report containing--
          [(1) a summary of the actions taken by the Director 
        during a 2-year period ending on December 31 of the 
        preceding year in order to carry out the Director's 
        functions and responsibilities under this title; and
          [(2) such other information as the Director may 
        consider appropriate.]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                             MINORITY VIEWS

    Committee Republicans oppose H.R. 745. The bill is simply a 
partisan attack on the Trump Administration. During the 
Committee's business meeting on March 26, 2019, Representative 
Jamie Raskin (D-MD) admitted the bill was directed at the Trump 
Administration. Representative Raskin stated, ``[w]e know that 
there has been a profound ethics crisis in the executive branch 
of government,'' and proceeded to list allegations concerning 
the Trump Administration.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Business Meeting of the H. Comm. on Oversight & Reform, 116th 
Cong. 90 (2019) (statement of Rep. Jamie Raskin, Member, H. Comm. on 
Oversight & Reform).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Representative Raskin failed to mention any of the scandals 
from the previous administration. In 2013, the Acting 
Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Steven 
Miller was fired following a Treasury Inspector General for Tax 
Administration report that found that the IRS targeted 
conservative political advocacy groups seeking tax-exempt 
status during the 2012 elections cycle.\2\ A 2012 General 
Services Administration (GSA) Inspector General report resulted 
in the resignation of Administrator Martha Johnson after the 
Inspector General found that GSA abused taxpayer dollars on a 
regional conference that included after-hours parties, a $7,000 
sushi reception, $44-per-head-breakfasts, a $3,200 mind reader, 
and $130,000 in expenses on pre-conference scouting trips.\3\ 
In addition, the Office of Special Counsel sent warning letters 
to and investigated several senior Obama Administration 
officials for Hatch Act violations, including Press Secretary 
Josh Earnest, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian 
Castro, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen 
Sebelius, and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Justice Department Settles with Conservative Groups Over IRS 
Scrutiny, REUTERS (Oct. 26, 2017), https://www.reuters.com/article/us-
usa-tax-conservative/justice-department-settles-with-conservative-
groups-over-irs-scrutiny-idUSKBN1CV1TY.
    \3\Vicki Needham, GSA Chief Resigns, Employees Fired For Costly 
Conference, The Hill (Apr. 2, 2012), https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-
briefing-room/news/219605-gsa-chief-resigns-employees-fired-for-costly-
conference.
    \4\See generally, Letter from Ana Galindo-Marrone, Chief, U.S. 
Office of Special Counsel Hatch Act Unit, to Hon. Joshua Earnest, 
Assistant to the President and White House Press Secretary, White House 
(May 4, 2016); Letter from Carolyn Lerner, Special Counsel, U.S. Office 
of Special Counsel, to Barack Obama, President of the United States 
(Jul. 18, 2016); Letter from Carolyn Lerner, Special Counsel, U.S. 
Office of Special Counsel, to Barack Obama, President of the United 
States (Sept. 12, 2012); Paul Pringle and Abbey Sewell, Complaint over 
Obama fundraiser triggered Solis Probe, L.A. TIMES (May 9, 2014), 
https://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-solis-investigation-20140510-
story.html.
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    This partisan bill adds extensive new authorities for the 
Director of Office of Government Ethics (OGE) that are 
incompatible with OGE's current statutory authority and 
mission. These new authorities include investigative authority, 
enhanced enforcement authority, and subpoena authority.
    H.R. 745 grants OGE unprecedented and inappropriate 
investigative powers. According to former OGE Director, Walter 
Shaub, OGE is not the appropriate entity to wield investigative 
authority. In a letter to the Committee in 2017, he wrote that 
``[g]iving OGE investigative authority would jeopardize the 
executive branch ethics program's critical function as a 
prevention mechanism.''\5\ Shaub warned, ``Congress should 
resist the temptation to transform OGE into one more Office of 
Inspector General among many.''\6\ Yet, this is exactly what 
this bill does.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\Letter from Walter Shaub Jr., Senior Dir. of Ethics, Campaign 
Legal Center, to Rep. Trey Gowdy, Chairman, H. Comm. on Oversight & 
Gov't Reform (Nov. 9, 2017), https://campaignlegal.org/sites/default/
files/W%20Shaub%20Legislative%20Proposal%20-
%209%20November%202017_0.pdf.
    \6\Id.
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    The new role of investigator is incompatible with OGE's 
current role. The bill would have a chilling effect on candid 
executive branch ethics advice and corrupt OGE's core mission. 
If OGE becomes another investigative agency, executive branch 
employees will be less likely to proactively seek advice from 
OGE.
    The executive branch does not need additional ethics 
investigators. Agencies are already responsible for ensuring 
their employees are compliant with federal ethics laws. In 
addition, Inspectors General stand ready to hold agencies 
accountable and to investigate alleged ethics violations. When 
there are failures of ethics compliance, OGE can notify the 
agency and refer the matter to the applicable Inspector 
General.
    Expanding OGE's authority is wasteful, duplicative, and 
creates an unnecessary opportunity to politicize ethics for 
overly zealous officials. Former OGE Director Shaub is a good 
example of why we need to be careful about creating an 
unaccountable and unrestrained OGE. In 2016, in a series of 
tweets from the official OGE twitter account, Shaub took it 
upon himself to publicly mock the President-elect for making 
decisions with which Shaub disagreed.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\Alina Selyukh, U.S. Ethics Chief Was Behind Those Tweets About 
Trump, Records Show, NPR (Dec. 30, 2016), https://www.npr.org/sections/
thetwo-way/2016/12/30/507559887/u-s-ethics-chief-was-behind-those-
tweets-about-trump-records-show.
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    While H.R. 745 grants new authorities to OGE, it also 
authorizes OGE for an unconstrained amount of funds. H.R. 745 
reauthorizes OGE through 2023 for ``such sums as may be 
necessary.''\8\ Essentially, the bill will provide a limitless 
authorization for OGE. Currently, OGE does not have the staff 
to advise, investigate, and discipline the entire federal 
workforce. At this point, it is unclear how much the new 
burdensome requirements will cost and this bill offers no 
limit.
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    \8\Ethics in Government Act of 1978, 5 U.S.C. app. Sec. 405 (2018).
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    Federal ethics laws are important across all 
administrations and legislative reform has generally been 
bipartisan. It is extremely unfortunate that during this 
Congress, the Committee Democrats have chosen to weaponize 
ethics.
                                                Jim Jordan,
                                                    Ranking Member.

                                  [all]