H.Res.214 - To amend the Rules of the House of Representatives to provide for gift reform.104th Congress (1995-1996)
Summary: H.Res.214 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)
Introduced in House (09/06/1995)
Amends rule XLIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives to prohibit a House Member, officer, or employee from knowingly accepting a gift except as provided in this Act.
Allows such individual to accept a gift (other than cash or cash equivalent) which he or she reasonably and in good faith believes to have a value of less than $50 and a cumulative value from one source during a calendar year of less than $100. Provides that no gift with a value below ten dollars shall count towards the $100 annual limit.
Considers a gift to a family member to be a gift to such individual if given with his or her knowledge and acquiescence and if there is reason to believe that the gift was given because of such individual's official position.
Treats only the food and refreshment that are provided to such individual as a gift if they are also provided at the same time and place to such individual's spouse or dependent.
Includes among exempted items: (1) contributions lawfully made under the Federal Election Campaign Act or attendance at a fund raising event sponsored by a political organization; (2) anything provided on the basis of a personal friendship unless such individual has reason to believe that the gift was provided because of his or her official position; (3) otherwise lawful contributions to such individual's legal expense fund; (4) food, refreshments, lodging, and other benefits which result from the outside business or employment activities of such individual or spouse if such benefits have not been offered or enhanced because of such individual's official position, which are customarily provided by a prospective employer in connection with bona fide employment discussions, or which are provided by a political organization in connection with a fund raising or campaign event; (5) training that is the House's interest; (6) a gift of personal hospitality of an individual other than a registered lobbyist or agent of a foreign principal; and (7) certain other opportunities and benefits provided to the public or to Government employees generally.
Establishes conditions under which such individual may accept an offer of free attendance at a convention, dinner, or similar event.
Prohibits the acceptance of a gift exceeding $250 on the basis of the personal friendship exception unless the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct issues a written determination that such exception applies.
Provides that certain reimbursements to such individual for travel expenses to an event in connection with official duties shall not be considered to be gifts if advance authorization is received and the reimbursements and authorization are disclosed within a specified time period. Declares that activities that are substantially recreational in nature shall not be considered to be in connection with official duties.
Includes as prohibited gifts to such individual from a registered lobbyist or an agent of a foreign principal: (1) anything provided to an entity that is maintained or controlled by such individual; (2) a charitable contribution made on the basis of such individual's specification, with the exception of a mass mailing or other solicitation directed to a broad category of persons or entities; (3) a contribution or other payment to such individual's legal expense fund; and (4) a financial contribution or expenditure made relating to a conference or similar event sponsored by, or affiliated with, an official congressional organization for, or on behalf of, such individuals. Provides that a charitable contribution made by a registered lobbyist or agent in lieu of an honorarium to such individual shall not be considered a gift under this Act if such individual reports to the Clerk of the House the name and address of the registered lobbyist, the date and amount of the contribution, and the name and address of the designated or recommended charitable organization.
Declares that such rules shall be interpreted and enforced solely by the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.