There is one summary for this bill. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (01/19/1995)

Amends rule XLIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives to revise provisions regarding the acceptance of gifts. Prohibits any Member, officer, or employee of the House from knowingly accepting a gift from a paid lobbyist, lobbying firm, or an agent of a foreign principal.

Includes within the gift restriction: (1) anything provided to a Member, officer, or employee by lobbyists or foreign agents which is believed to be paid for or reimbursed by a client or firm of the lobbyist or foreign agent; (2) charitable contributions made by lobbyists, lobbying firms, or foreign agents on the basis of a recommendation or specification of a Member, officer, or employee or charitable contributions made by such individuals in lieu of honoraria; (3) contributions and other payments by lobbyists, lobbying firms, or foreign agents to a legal expense fund established for the benefit of a Member, officer, or employee; and (4) financial contributions or expenditures made by lobbyists, lobbying firms, or foreign agents relating to a conference or similar event affiliated with an official congressional organization for or on behalf of Members, officers, or employees.

Lists items exempt from such restriction, including: (1) unused items that are promptly returned to the donor; (2) food or refreshments of nominal value; (3) benefits resulting from the business or outside activities of the spouse of the Member, officer, or employee if such benefits are customarily provided to others; (4) pension and other benefits resulting from continued participation in an employee welfare and benefits plan maintained by a former employer; and (5) specified informational materials.

Makes the gift restriction inapplicable under circumstances which make it clear that the gift is given for a nonbusiness purpose and is motivated by a family or close personal relationship. Sets forth factors to be considered in determining if the giving of the item is so motivated.

Prohibits any Member, officer, or employee from knowingly accepting a gift from any other person (currently, such individuals may accept gifts totalling up to $250 from any one person, except as permitted by specified waivers).

Considers a gift to a spouse or dependent of a Member, officer, or employee to be a gift to the Member, officer, or employee if given with their knowledge and acquiescence and if there is reason to believe that the gift was given because of their official positions.

Lists items exempt from the gift restriction, including: (1) anything provided on the basis of a personal or family relationship unless the Member, officer, or employee has reason to believe that the gift was provided because of his or her official position; (2) unused items that are promptly returned to the donor; (3) food or refreshments believed to have a value of less than $20; (4) food, lodging, and other benefits resulting from the outside business or employment activities of a Member, officer, or employee or their spouses if such benefits have not been offered or enhanced because of the recipient's official position; (5) such benefits customarily provided by a prospective employer in connection with bona fide employment discussions or by a political organization in connection with a fundraising or campaign event; (6) certain awards or prizes given in contests open to the public; (7) certain honorary degrees and other awards; (8) donations of products from the Member's State that are intended for promotional purposes and are of minimal value; (9) food and entertainment provided to a Member or employee in the home State subject to reasonable limitations; (10) certain training; (11) bequests and inheritances; (12) anything paid for by the Government or by a State or local government or secured under a Government contract; (13) a gift of personal hospitality; (14) free attendance at an event, as permitted by this Act; and (15) certain other opportunities and benefits.

Establishes conditions under which a Member, officer, or employee 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 relationship or friendship exception unless the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct determines that such exception applies.

Provides that certain reimbursements to a Member, officer, or employee for travel expenses to an event in connection with official duties shall not be considered as gifts if advance authorization to accept reimbursement is received and the reimbursement and authorization are disclosed within a specified time period.

Amends rule XLVII to prohibit Members, officers, or employees, beginning in 1995, from receiving copyright royalties for any work: (1) unless the royalty is received from an established publisher pursuant to usual and customary contractual terms; (2) unless the total amount of royalties for the work does not exceed one-third of the individual's annual pay as a Member, officer, or employee for the year in which the contract is entered into; and (3) without the prior notification and approval of the contract by the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. Bars the receipt of advance payment for any such work. Makes such restriction applicable only to royalties received by such individuals after adoption of this resolution pursuant to any contract entered into while a Member, officer, or employee.