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104th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 1st Session                                                    104-337
_______________________________________________________________________


 
AMENDING THE RULES OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO PROVIDE FOR GIFT 
                                 REFORM

                                _______


 November 14, 1995.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______


   Mr. Solomon, from the Committee on Rules, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                             MINORITY VIEWS

                       [To accompany H. Res. 250]

  The Committee on Rules, to whom was referred the resolution 
(H. Res. 250) to amend the Rules of the House of 
Representatives to provide for gift reform, having considered 
the same, report favorably thereon with amendments and 
recommend that the resolution as amended be adopted.
  The amendments (stated in terms of the page and line numbers 
of the introduced resolution) are as follows:
  Page 1, line 3, strike ``LI'' and insert ``LII''.
  Page 2, line 1, strike ``LI'' and insert ``LII''.
  Page 3, line 20, insert ``lawful'' before ``contribution'' 
and beginning in line 21 strike ``limited as prescribed by 
section 301(8)(B) of such Act,''.
  Page 4, line 2, strike ``5'' and insert ``16''.
  Page 5, line 14, insert ``transportation,'' before ``and''.
  Page 9, line 9, strike ``solely''.
  Page 10, beginning in line 17, strike ``an'' and all that 
follows through line 18 and insert ``the event.''.
  Page 11, line 15, strike ``an individual'' and insert ``a 
private source''.
  Page 17, line 19, insert ``, other than as otherwise provided 
by law,'' before ``if''.

                       Purpose of the Resolution

    The purpose of this resolution is to enhance, in a 
bipartisan fashion, public trust in the institution of Congress 
by limiting, through rules of the House, the acceptance of 
gifts, meals and travel by Members, officers and employees of 
the House of Representatives.

                       Summary of the Resolution

    The resolution substitutes gift provisions for obsolete 
provisions of rule LII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives (Application of Certain Laws) and supersedes 
clause 4 of House Rule XLIII (the House gift rule). It 
prohibits a House Member, officer or employee from knowingly 
accepting a gift (including meals and entertainment) which he 
or she reasonably and in good faith believes to have a value of 
$50 or more and a cumulative value from one source during a 
calendar year of $100 or more. (Currently, Members, officers 
and employees of the House and their spouses and dependents are 
allowed to accept gifts totaling up to $250 from any one person 
in a calendar year, but gifts under $100 are exempt from the 
aggregate). No gift with a value below $10 shall count toward 
the $100 annual limit.
    The resolution provides exceptions for gifts from family 
members and close personal friends, but requires a waiver from 
the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct for any gift 
exceeding $250 from a close personal friend. Exceptions are 
also provided for a series of items, including those of nominal 
value, informational materials, awards or prizes, training, 
inheritances, personal hospitality, plaques or trophies, and 
food or refreshments not part of a meal.
    Reimbursed travel expenses to events that are substantially 
recreational (including charity events) are prohibited under 
the resolution. Also prohibited are the acceptance of 
contributions from lobbyists to legal defense funds or 
charities maintained or controlled by Members, officers or 
employees of the House, as well as acceptance of free 
recreational activities collateral to an event unless all 
attendees have access.
    Reimbursed travel expenses to events in connection with 
official duties are permitted under the resolution if paid by a 
person other than a registered lobbyist or agent of a foreign 
government. The resolution also permits the current practice of 
designating or recommending contributions to charities in lieu 
of honoraria to Members, officers and employees of the House, 
but requires disclosure of such designations or recommendations 
to the Clerk of the House within 30 days if the charitable 
contribution is provided by lobbyists.
    The resolution also: requires prior authorization for 
travel by staff; requires disclosure for travel by Members and 
staff within 30 days; provides for enforcement by the Committee 
on Standards of Official Conduct; provides for acceptance of 
gifts to the House by the Committee on House Oversight; and 
becomes effective January 1, 1996.

                        Committee Consideration

    H. Res. 250 was introduced in the House of Representatives 
on October 30, 1995. On Wednesday, November 1, 1995, the 
Committee held a briefing on the resolution for Committee 
Members and staff. On Thursday, November 2, 1995, the Committee 
held a public hearing on H. Res. 250 in which Members of the 
House provided testimony on the resolution. Testimony was 
provided by Hon. Enid Waldholtz of Utah (sponsor of the 
resolution), Hon. Christopher Shays of Conecticut, Hon. Thomas 
Barrett of Wisconsin, Hon. Dan Burton of Indiana, Hon. Bill 
Brewster of Oklahoma, Hon. George Miller of California, Hon. 
John Bryant of Texas, Hon. Vic Fazio of California, Hon. Rosa 
DeLauro of Connecticut, Hon. Scott Klug of Wisconsin, and Hon. 
Mike Castle of Delaware. Written testimony was also submitted 
by Hon. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan.
    A second public hearing on H. Res. 250, which included 
outside witnesses, was held on Tuesday, November 7. Testimony 
was provided by Hon. Nancy Johnson of Connecticut, Chairman of 
the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct; Dr. Thomas 
Mann, Director of the Government Studies Program at the 
Brookings Institution; Mr. David Mason, Vice President of 
Government Relations for the Heritage Foundation; Dr. James 
Thurber, Director of the Center for Congressional and 
Presidential Studies of American University; Ms. Joan 
Claybrook, President of Public Citizen; Ms. Ann McBride, 
President of Common Cause; Mr. Wright Andrews, President of the 
American League of Lobbyists; and Mr. Richard Brown, Founder 
and Chairman Emeritus of the Leukemia Research Fund.
    At the November 7 hearing, the Committee also received the 
following letter from the chairman and ranking minority member 
of the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct recommending 
improvements in the resolution:

                          Committee on Standards of
                                          Official Conduct,
                                  Washington, DC, November 7, 1995.
Hon. Gerald B.H. Solomon,
Chairman, Committee on Rules,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: Thank you for the opportunity to comment 
on H. Res. 250, a proposal to amend the House gift rule. The 
goals of this resolution are laudable, and we commend the 
sponsors for their efforts. As chairman and ranking member of 
the Committee charged with enforcing the gift rule, we hope 
that the House can adopt a rule that establishes clear, 
comprehensible guidelines which affirm the commitment of all 
Members to uphold the highest ethical standards. Toward that 
end, we have the following suggestions, based on discussions 
within the Committee, which we feel will add to the clarity and 
enforceability of the rule, without delaying its 
implementation. Although we have couched our suggestions as 
recommendations for changing the language of the rule, some of 
these issues could be equally well addressed through clarifying 
report language.
    First, while the Committee would not wish to impose onerous 
or time-consuming recordkeeping requirements, neither would we 
wish to discourage Members from keeping track of the gifts that 
they receive. Indeed, we believe that unless each Member adopts 
a system for doing so, the rule will be impossible to comply 
with or to enforce. Currently, the gift rule is silent on the 
subject of recordkeeping and the Committee informally advises 
Members to keep track. We believe that strikes the appropriate 
balance. Thus, we recommend deleting the last sentence of 
paragraph 1(a)(2) on page 2 of H. Res. 250 (lines 12-15).
    Second, it would be unfair and unnecessary to hold Members 
accountable for the acceptance of gifts by persons outside 
their households. Thus, we recommend substituting ``spouse or 
dependent child'' for ``family member'' on page 2, line 23, and 
deleting ``or a gift to any other individual based on that 
individual's relationship with the Member, officer, or 
employee,'' on page 2, line 24-page 3, line 1.
    Third, we believe that all lawful contributions towards 
state or local campaigns should be exempt, just as 
contributions for federal campaigns are. Thus, we recommend 
adding the word ``lawful'' before ``contribution'' on page 3, 
line 20, and deleting ``limited as prescribed by section 
301(8)(B) of such Act'' on lines 21-22.
    Fourth, since the acceptance of training is limited not 
only by the gift rule, but by Rule 45 (precluding private 
subsidies of congressional operations), we recommend adding at 
the end of the sentence concluding on page 7, line 10, ``and is 
approved by the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.''
    Fifth, the Committee believes the rule gives no guidance, 
nor can we, as to when it would or would not be ``appropriate 
to assist in the representation of the House'' to accept 
expenses for an accompanying family member of other individual 
when a Member or employee participates at a widely-attended 
event or a speaking engagement, fact-finding or similar event 
in connection with one's duties as an officeholder. We believe 
that it is generally appropriate to accept an unsolicited offer 
from a sponsor to cover the costs of one accompanying 
individual, as is permitted under the current House rule. 
Therefore, we recommend striking the words ``if'' through 
``Representatives'' on page 10, lines 9-12, and the words 
``subject'' through ``Representatives'' on page 14, lines 17-
23.
    Sixth, it is the consensus of the Committee that Members 
should not have greater latitude to raise funds for the non-
charitable entities organized under section 501(c)(4) of the 
Tax Code than they have for the charitable entities organized 
under section 501(c)(3). Therefore, we recommend either that 
you delete paragraph (b) at lines 9-17 of page 15, or that you 
add an analogous provision deeming contributions to entities 
organized under section 501(c)(4) of the Tax Code by lobbyists 
at the recommendation of Members, officers, or employees to be 
prohibited gifts.
    Seventh, exception 16, exempting ``anything which is paid 
for by the Federal Government, by a State or local government, 
or secured by the Government under a Government contract'' is 
considerably broader than the current gift rule exception for 
``food, lodging, transportation, and entertainment provided on 
an official basis by Federal, state, and local governments or 
political subdivisions thereof.'' There does not appear to be 
any need to expand this exemption; thus, we recommend a return 
to the current language.
    Finally, we recommend the following technical amendments, 
which we believe to be the result of drafting errors, to 
effectuate what we believe to be the real intent behind the 
various provisions.
    On page 4, line 2: substitute section ``109(16)'' for 
``109(5).''
    On page 5, line 14: add ``transportation,'' after 
``lodging'' (this would conform with the executive branch 
rule).
    On page 9, line 9: delete the word ``solely'' (which 
suggests that the recipient could not keep the commemorative 
item).
    On page 11, line 15: substitute ``a person'' or ``a private 
source'' for ``an individual'' (as written, the provision 
suggests that associations, foundations, corporations and other 
entities could no longer fund travel).
    We hope that you will accept these suggestions in the 
spirit in which they are being offered, not as reasons to 
abandon or postpone gift reform, but as ideas for fine-tuning a 
commendable proposal. Thank you again for the opportunity to 
comment.
            Sincerely,
                                   Nancy L. Johnson,
                                           Chairman.
                                   Jim McDermott,
                                           Ranking Democratic Member.
    On Tuesday, November 14, the Committee met to mark up H. 
Res. 250. The Committee favorably reported H. Res. 250 as 
amended by the Committee by a nonrecord vote. During the markup 
9 amendments to H. Res. 250 were agreed to.

                               Background

    Prior to January 1, 1990, Members, officers and employees 
of the House of Representatives were prohibited from accepting 
gifts from persons with a direct interest in legislation. This 
prohibition was contained in clause 4 (gift rule) of House Rule 
XLIII (Code of Official Conduct). However, this rule was 
considered to be impractical and unworkable.
    On November 30, 1989, President Bush signed into law the 
Ethics Reform Act of 1989 (Public Law 101-94). The new law 
raised the salaries (while prohibiting acceptance of 
honorarium) of top officials in all three branches of the 
Federal Government and placed tighter ethics restrictions on 
such officials. In the House, the legislation (H.R. 3660) was 
the product of the Bipartisan Task Force on Ethics co-chaired 
by Representatives Vic Fazio (D-CA) and Lynn Martin (R-IL).
    The 1989 Ethics Reform Act made several changes in House 
Rules and ethics committee advisory opinions (regulations) 
relating to gifts and non-governmental travel. These included:
          Amending clause 4 (gift rule) of House Rule XLIII 
        (Code of Conduct) to prohibit Members, officers or 
        employees of the House from directly or indirectly 
        accepting gifts of more than minimal value--defined as 
        individual gifts of more than $75 in fair market value 
        that aggregate to more than $200 a year--received from 
        any person (other than personal hospitality or gifts 
        from a relative, including a fiance or fiancee), except 
        to the extent permitted by written waiver granted by 
        the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct in 
        exceptional circumstances;
          Directing the Committee on Standards of Official 
        Conduct to amend its advisory opinions relating to 
        acceptance of gifts: (1) To prohibit lodging received 
        as personal hospitality in excess of 30 days in any 
        calendar year from any individual unless a written 
        waiver is granted by the Committee, and requiring the 
        Member, officer or employee to ensure that it was in 
        fact personal and not corporate financed or claimed as 
        a business expense; and (2) to exempt gifts of food and 
        beverages consumed that are not in connection with 
        gifts of lodging from coverage under the gift rule 
        (``local meals exemption'');
          Directing the Committee on Standards of Official 
        Conduct to amend its advisory opinions to limit 
        reimbursable travel expenses in connection with 
        speaking engagements and similar events (fact-finding 
        for educational purposes and substantial participation 
        events, including charity events) to no more than four 
        consecutive days for domestic events and seven 
        consecutive days (excluding travel days) in the case of 
        foreign travel, and to permit the Member or employee to 
        be accompanied by a spouse or other family member; and
          Amending House Rule XLIV, ``Financial Disclosure,'' 
        by incorporating by reference the provisions of Title I 
        of the Ethics Reform Act (``Financial Disclosure 
        Requirements of Federal Personnel'') as a rule of the 
        House as it pertains to Members, officers or employees 
        of the House, including requirements for including on 
        annual financial disclosure statements any gifts 
        received in excess of the amount permissible (which 
        would either be illegal or permitted by virtue of a 
        waiver from the Ethics Committee), and any reimbursable 
        travel expenses from private sources for speaking 
        engagements and related types of events (fact-finding 
        or substantial participation).
    The Legislative Branch Appropriations Act for fiscal year 
1992 further amended clause 4 of House Rule XLIII. Effective 
January 1, 1992, it forbids a Member, officer or employee of 
the House from accepting gifts of more than $250 in the 
aggregate in any one year from any one source, with only gifts 
of more than $100 counting toward the aggregate.
    In the 103rd Congress, the House passed legislation (S. 
349) banning lobbyists from giving, and Members of Congress 
from accepting, most gifts and other benefits, including meals 
and trips. The House agreed to the conference report on S. 349 
on September 29, 1994, by a vote of 306-112 after narrowly 
approving the rule under which the bill was considered. 
However, a filibuster in the Senate prevented the measure from 
becoming law.
    In the 104th Congress, several proposals have been 
introduced in the House and Senate in the form of resolutions 
seeking to implement gift reform. On July 25, the Senate passed 
S. Res. 158 by a vote of 98-0 without the benefit of committee 
hearings or a committee report. S. Res. 158 change Senate rules 
that limit the value of gifts Senators may receive from 
lobbyists and others. Specifically it:
          Places a $50 limit on the value of individual gifts, 
        including meals and entertainment, that Senators and 
        staff can accept; a $100 annual limit on cumulative 
        gifts from any one source; and a requirement that gifts 
        worth $10 or more be counted toward the annual limit;
          Permits Senators and staff to accept unlimited gifts 
        from family members and close personal friends;
          Prohibits Senators and staff from accepting free 
        travel to so-called charity events that are 
        substantially recreational;
          Prohibits Senators and staff from accepting 
        lobbyists' contributions to charities maintained or 
        controlled by a Senator or staff;
          Permits Senators and staff to continue to designate 
        charities to which lobbyists may contribute up to 
        $2,000 in lieu of paying a speaking fee; and
          Exempts campaign contributions, pensions and similar 
        benefits, informational materials, items of nominal 
        value, and gifts for which a waiver is approved by the 
        Senate Ethics Committee.
    In the House, gift ban language was introduced by the 
Democratic leadership as an amendment to H. Res. 6, which 
established the rules of the House for the 104th Congress. The 
amendment was defeated because it was inconsistent with the 
reforms contained in H. Res. 6. The provisions of the amendment 
were subsequently introduced as H. Res. 40 by Representative 
John Bryant (D-TX). It is similar to the gift reform provisions 
of S. 349 (103rd Congress) in terms of gifts that Members may 
accept. H. Res. 40 also includes a new section relating to 
restrictions on acceptance of royalty income by Members.
    H. Res. 66, a resolution to amend the Rules of the House to 
ban gifts, was introduced by a group of Republican freshmen 
Members led by Representative Linda Smith of Washington. This 
proposal is also included in H.R. 2702, the Clean Congress Act. 
Finally, a group of bipartisan Members, led by Representative 
Enid Waldholtz of Utah, introduced H. Res. 134. This group also 
introduced H. Res. 214 on September 6, and H. Res. 250 on 
October 30. Both resolutions are practically identical to S. 
Res. 158 as approved by the Senate.

                        Need for the Resolution

    It is recognized that the vast majority of Members, 
officers and employees of the House of Representatives conduct 
the business of the House with honesty, integrity and in the 
highest of ethical standards. As Representative Waldholtz noted 
in testimony before the Committee, ``the vast majority of our 
colleagues are not only honest and hard-working, but are 
certainly not becoming wealthy through their service in the 
Congress, either through the benefits that they receive here or 
through what they receive from lobbyists or from anyone else.''
    This theme was echoed by Dr. Thomas Mann of the Brookings 
Institution. ``I do not believe Congress is a corrupt 
institution, awash in special interest influence purchased 
through gifts, meals, junkets, and PAC contributions,'' Mann 
said in testimony before the Committee. ``Nor do I believe that 
the House has in the past ignored concerns about illegal or 
unethical gratuities. The rules and expectations regarding 
gifts and travel outlined in Chapter 2 of the House Ethics 
Manual are not unreasonable; indeed, compared with the 
restrictions imposed on legislators in other democracies, they 
are quite stringent. In any case editorial writers and 
television newsmagazine producers have been egregiously unfair 
in fanning the flames of public outrage over privately-funded 
meals and travel.''
    Nevertheless, the need to strengthen the gift restrictions 
in House rules remains compelling, for three reasons. First, 
public opinion holds Congress as an institution in low esteem. 
Much of the rationale for the historic decline in public trust 
in the institution is due to a perception that special interest 
groups maintain undue influence over the legislative process, 
and Members of Congress are granted perquisites and privileges 
unavailable to average Americans. As Representative Mike Castle 
stated in testimony before the Committee, ``given the low 
regard that Americans have for Congress, we must set higher 
standards for ourselves.''
    Second, there is a recognition that Congress has fallen 
behind the executive branch in the area of gift reform. For 
example, executive branch employees are permitted to accept 
unsolicited gifts having a market value of $20 or less per 
occasion, provided that the aggregate market value of 
individual gifts received from any one person shall not exceed 
$50 in a calendar year.
    Third, the Senate has already enacted a comprehensive gift 
ban rule. ``Now that the Senate has voted to end these abuses, 
there is no excuse for the House not to follow suit,'' 
explained Ms. Ann McBride of Common Cause in testimony before 
the Committee.
    As a result of the need to respond to the changing ethical 
landscape confronting public officials, there is substantial 
support both inside and outside of Congress for further 
limiting gifts to Members and staff by lobbyists and other 
interests. But in doing so, it is the desire of proponents of 
tighter gift restrictions that they be achieved without onerous 
recordkeeping requirements, with appreciation for the fact that 
Members of Congress have a different relationship with the 
public than that of executive branch officials, and in a way 
that ensures that Members are not inadvertently and unfairly 
entangled in excessive or confusing guidelines. For these 
reasons, the Committee does not believe that an alternative 
proposal to simply require full disclosure of all gifts, 
regardless of value or relevance to official business, is a 
practical solution. Such a wide disclosure requirement would be 
a recordkeeping and compliance nightmare, and would only serve 
to further undermine public confidence in Congress by unfairly 
tainting appropriate activities.
    Gift reform in and of itself is not seen by proponents of 
the resolution as a panacea that will restore public confidence 
in the integrity of Congress. As Representative Beilenson 
explained at a Committee hearing: ``The unfortunate and sad 
truth is that if we were to do this and ban all gifts under 5 
cents and reduce our salaries to $2,500 a year and not pay for 
our trips to our district but require Members to hitchhike back 
home every single weekend * * * we probably wouldn't be held in 
much higher esteem by the public back home.''
    Nor is H. Res. 250, and its substantially identical Senate 
counterpart (S. Res. 158) seen as the ideal way to address gift 
reform in the House. ``H. Res. 250 is not the resolution Public 
Citizen would have drafted,'' Ms. Joan Claybrook of Public 
Citizen explained in testimony before the Committee. However, 
it is ``a vast improvement over the current rule, addressing 
the gift and travel practices that we believe are inappropriate 
for public officials and offer the most opportunity for abuse. 
It also fairly addresses Members' legitimate concerns about 
recordkeeping, inadvertent violations, and having rules that 
interfere with their necessary interaction with constituents 
and the general public.'' Furthermore, she noted, ``The more 
differences there are between the chambers, the more difficult 
it will be for lobbyists and the general public to understand 
what is permissible and what is not in a given circumstance.''
    It should be noted that sensible gift reform is proposed as 
part of a broader effort to improve institutional 
accountability and integrity, control the political activities 
of interest groups and lobbyists (without undermining the 
necessary role of lobbyists in the policy process), and level 
the playing field between Washington, D.C.-based interest 
groups and individual citizens in a Member's home district. 
That effort includes campaign finance reform, re-writing the 
ineffective Federal lobbying disclosure statutes to reflect the 
true nature of lobbyist and interest group activities, and 
limiting the political activities of non-profit groups that use 
Federal funds to inappropriately further their political 
agendas. Gift reform is also part of a continuing reform effort 
that began on January 4, 1995. As Mr. David Mason of the 
Heritage Foundation noted in testimony before the Committee: 
``Revising the rules on gifts is just one more piece of 
progress added to that made already by the House this year in 
areas such as franking, floor procedure, committee structure, 
employment practices, your own budget, and financial 
controls.''

                         Analysis of Resolution

    Section 1 of the resolution amends rule LII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives to prohibit a House Member, 
officer or employee from knowingly accepting a gift, except as 
otherwise provided for in the resolution. Existing rule LII 
(Application of Certain Laws) became obsolete on January 23, 
1995, when President Clinton signed into law the Congressional 
Accountability Act (P.L. 104-1), which established in statute 
an Office of Compliance to apply Federal employment laws to 
Congress. The coverage of that law becomes effective one year 
after the date of enactment (January 23, 1996), with certain 
exceptions. In the interim, the House continues to be governed 
in this area by rule LI (Employment Practices).
    Clause 1(a) of the resolution permits a Member, officer or 
employee of the House 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 any one source during a calendar year of less than 
$100. The resolution further provides that no gift with a value 
below $10 shall count towards the $100 annual limit.
    Regulations established by the Committee on Standards of 
Official Conduct with respect to the present gift rule (clause 
4 of rule XLIII) allow a recipient of a gift to ``buy down'' 
the value of an otherwise excessive gift to bring it within 
acceptable limits, but not with respect to the threshold 
whereby the value of the gift does not count toward the 
cumulative annual limit. The Committee intends that such buy 
downs continue to be allowed with respect to the $50 per gift 
limit and the $100 cumulative annual limit from any one source, 
but not with respect to the $10 threshold whereby the value of 
the gift does not count toward the cumulative annual limit.
    A division of the cost of a gift by more than one person to 
avoid the limits established in clause 1(a) is also prohibited 
by this resolution. For example, if a lobbyist and his or her 
client split the cost of a meal to bring it under the $50 
threshold, the meal would be treated as one gift from either 
the lobbyist or client. However, if 10 personal friends (as 
determined in paragraph (4)(B) of clause 1(c)) want to chip in 
$30 apiece to buy a recipient a birthday present, a division of 
the cost would be permitted (see House Ethics Manual, pages 57 
and 58).
    No formal recordkeeping is required by the resolution, but 
a good faith effort is required to comply with the gift limit 
thresholds. Therefore, the Committee recommends that gift 
recipients establish an informal and voluntary process by which 
the value of accepted gifts can be recorded.
    Clause 1(b) defines a gift as any gratuity, favor, 
discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, forbearance, or 
other item having monetary value, including gifts of services, 
training, transportation, lodging, and meals. Gifts to family 
members of Members, officers and employees of the House, or 
gifts to other individuals, are considered to be gifts if they 
are given with the knowledge and acquiescence of the Member, 
officer or employee, and the Member, officer or employee has 
reason to believe the gift was given because of that 
individual's official position. If food and refreshment is 
offered to a recipient Member, officer or employee and to the 
recipient's spouse at the same time and place concurrently, 
only the cost of the food and refreshment provided to the 
Member, officer or employee is treated as a gift.
    Other exemptions to the gift restrictions are outlined in 
clause 1(c). Anything for which the Member, officer or employee 
pays market value, or does not use and promptly returns to the 
donor is exempt. Campaign contributions, contributions to a 
legal defense fund unless from a registered lobbyist or foreign 
agent, gifts provided on the basis of personal friendship, and 
gifts from other Members, officers and employees of the Senate 
or House of Representatives, are exempt as well.
    Food, refreshments, lodging, transportation and other 
benefits are exempt from the gift restrictions if they result 
from outside business or employment activities (such as a 
family business), are customarily provided by a prospective 
employer in connection with a bona fide employment discussion, 
or are provided by a political organization in connection with 
a political fund raiser or campaign event. This provision also 
allows Members, officers and employees of the House to accept 
food, refreshments, lodging and other benefits resulting from 
outside activities that are not related to official duties 
(such as activities that are religious in nature) so long as 
the benefits are not motivated by the official position of the 
recipient and are customarily provided to others engaged in 
similar activities. For example, if a Member, officer or 
employee serves on the Board of a non-profit hospital in his or 
her district, and the Board holds its annual meeting, the 
Member, officer or employee may accept any meals, lodging and 
other benefits which are provided to other Board members in 
this circumstance.
    The gift restrictions do not apply to pensions and other 
employee benefits provided by a former employer, or to 
informational materials, such as books, magazine subscriptions, 
articles and videotapes. As currently interpreted by the 
Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (House Ethics 
Manual, April 1992, page 32), ``the `subscription' exemption is 
intended to ensure Members access to information sources or 
reference tools useful in the conduct of official duties. 
However, an additional courtesy copy of a publication, sent to 
a Member's home, would be deemed a gift because the Members 
would be receiving a benefit not generally available to the 
public.'' It is the intent of the Committee that this 
interpretation continue with respect to the exemption in 
paragraph (9) of clause 1(c).
    The gift restrictions do not apply to personal hospitality 
from someone other than a registered lobbyist or foreign agent. 
Personal hospitality is defined in the Ethics in Government Act 
as ``hospitality extended for a nonbusiness purpose by an 
individual, not a corporation, at the personal residence of 
that individual or his family or on property or facilities 
owned by that individual or his family.'' The provision is not 
intended to prohibit ``personal hospitality'' by registered 
lobbyists if the lobbyist qualifies under the ``personal 
friends'' exemption in paragraph (4)(A) of clause 1(c).
    The gift restrictions also do not apply to:
          Awards or prizes given to competitors in contests 
        open to the public, including random drawings;
          Honorary degrees and other non-monetary awards 
        presented in recognition of public service (and 
        associated food, refreshments and entertainment 
        provided in the presentation of such degrees and 
        awards);
          Donations of home state (promotional or consumable) 
        products of minimal value;
          Training (including food and refreshments furnished 
        to all attendees as an integral part of the training), 
        if such training is in the interest of the House of 
        Representatives and accords with other House rules as 
        determined by the Committee on Standards of Official 
        Conduct;
          Bequests, inheritances and other transfers at death;
          Any item which is authorized by the Foreign Gifts and 
        Decorations Act;
          Anything paid for by the Federal government, or state 
        or local governments (but not their registered 
        lobbyists);
          Free attendance at a widely attended event;
          Other gifts offered to the general public or to a 
        group in which membership is unrelated to congressional 
        employment;
          Plaques, trophies or other commemorative items;
          Anything for which, in an unusual case, a waiver is 
        granted by the Committee on Standards of Official 
        Conduct;
          Food and refreshments of nominal value not offered as 
        part of a meal (reception food); and
          Items of nominal value, such as a greeting card, 
        baseball cap or a T-shirt.
    Clause 1(d) defines the conditions under which a Member, 
officer or employee of the House may accept an offer of free 
attendance at a widely attended event (such as a convention, 
conference, symposium, forum, panel discussion, dinner, 
viewing, or reception), the value of which exceeds the limits 
established in clause 1(a).
    The term ``free attendance'' includes waivers of conference 
fees, local transportation, food, refreshments, entertainment, 
and instructional materials provided by the sponsors of the 
event (but not by a registered lobbyist or foreign agent). 
However, such items may not be provided collateral to the 
event. The term ``free attendance'' does not include necessary 
transportation, lodging, and related expenses. The 
reimbursement rules for these items are defined in clause 2 of 
the resolution.
    In 5 CFR 2635.204 (standards of ethical conduct for 
employees of the executive branch), ``A gathering is widely 
attended if, for example, it is open to members from throughout 
a given industry or profession or if those in attendance 
represent a range of persons interested in a given matter.'' It 
is the intent of the Committee that the term ``widely 
attended'' closely parallel that for executive branch employees 
for purposes of this resolution.
    To participate in, and receive free attendance at, a widely 
attended event, a Member, officer or employee of the House must 
be presenting information related to Congress or matters before 
Congress, or performing a ceremonial function appropriate to 
that individual's position. Acceptance of ``free attendance'' 
is permitted for a spouse or an ``accompanying individual'' if 
such attendance is appropriate to assist in the representation 
of the House.
    Similarly, an offer of free attendance to a charitable 
event may be accepted from the sponsor of the event (including 
local transportation, food, refreshments and entertainment 
integral to the event), but not from a registered lobbyist or 
foreign agent. However, reimbursement for transportation and 
lodging may not be accepted in connection with such an event.
    The term ``charitable event'' applies to an event the 
primary purpose of which is to raise money for, or otherwise 
promote, a charitable purpose. The Committee believes that 
Members, officers and employees should be allowed to lend their 
names to legitimate charitable enterprises and otherwise 
promote charitable goals. The term ``sponsor of the event'' 
refers to the person, entity, or entities that are primarily 
responsible for organizing the event. An individual who simply 
contributes money to an event is not considered to be a sponsor 
of the event.
    The provision for ``free attendance at a widely attended 
event'' is not designed to allow a Member, officer or employee 
to accept meals, lodging and other benefits that are provided 
without some connection to that person's official duties. For 
an event to be related to official duties, such event must not 
be merely for the personal pleasure or entertainment of Members 
or employees.
    In clause 1(e), Members, officers and employees of the 
House are permitted to accept unlimited gifts from family 
members and close personal friends. A waiver must be obtained 
from the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct for gifts 
worth more than $250 from close personal friends. No such 
waiver is required for gifts from relatives. However, such 
gifts from family members and close personal friends must be 
paid for by the individual and not by the employer of the 
individual.
    Factors to be considered in determining whether a gift is 
motivated by a family relationship or personal friendship 
include the relationship between the individual giving the item 
and the individual receiving the item; whether the item was 
purchased by the individual who gave the item; and whether the 
individual who gave the item also at the same time gave the 
same or similar item to other Members, officers or employees. A 
gift is not considered to be motivated by personal friendship 
if the individual giving the gift seeks reimbursement from an 
employer or a client, or seeks to deduct the gift as a business 
expense on his or her tax returns.
    In the event that returning a prohibited gift to the donor 
is not practical, clause 1(f) permits Members, officers and 
employees to discard prohibited gifts or to donate them to an 
appropriate charity.
    The Committee believes that Members of Congress cannot 
effectively communicate with the public if travel is not 
permitted outside of Washington, D.C., or one's congressional 
district. With public travel budgets increasingly constrained, 
the Committee believes that Members, officers and employees 
should be permitted to accept private reimbursement for travel 
expenses in certain circumstances. Consequently, the 
reimbursement rules for necessary transportation, lodging, and 
related expenses are establshed in clause 2 of the resolution.
    Reimbursement for necessary travel expenses (such as 
airfare and lodging) for fact-finding trips, meetings and 
speeches, other than from a registered lobbyist or foreign 
agent, are not considered to be a gift when accepted for events 
related to official business. There must be some connection 
between the event and the official duties of a Member, officer 
or employee of the House, and the recipient must substantially 
participate in the event. The payor must also be directly 
associated with the event.
    Private reimbursement of travel expenses incurred in 
connection with charitable golf, tennis or ski tournaments, or 
similar recreational events, would be prohibited. All travel 
and related expenses that are reimbursed by a non-congressional 
entity must be publicly disclosed within 30 days after the 
travel is completed. Presently, section 102(a)(2) of the Ethics 
in Government Act of 1978 requires Members and highly-paid 
officers and employees of the House to disclose annually all 
privately reimbursed travel and a description and value of all 
gifts aggregating $250 or more annually from any one source 
(see rule XLIV of the Rules of the House).
    Clause 2(b) requires employees of the House to receive 
signed, advance authorization for privately reimbursed travel 
from the Member or officer under whose direct supervision the 
employee works (which also must be filed with the Clerk of the 
House within 30 days after the travel is completed). The 
advance authorization must include: the name of the employee; 
the name of the person who will make the reimbursement; the 
time, place, and purpose of the travel; and a determination 
that the travel is in connection with the duties of the Member, 
officer or employee as an officeholder and would not create the 
appearance that the employer is using public office for private 
gain.
    Clause 2(c) sets forth the requirements for disclosure of 
expenses reimbursed. They include good faith estimates of total 
transportation, lodging, meal and other expenses; a 
determination that such expenses are necessary; and, in the 
case of a Member or officer, a determination that the travel 
was in connection with the duties of that individual as an 
officeholder and would not create the appearance that the 
individual is using public office for private gain. In the case 
of an employee, the disclosure must be signed by the Member or 
officer under whose supervision the employee works.
    Clause 2(d) defines the term ``necessary transportation, 
lodging, and related expenses.'' The travel related to an 
eligible meeting, speaking engagement, fact-finding trip or 
similar event in connection with the official duties of the 
Member, officer or employee of the House shall not exceed 3 
days for domestic travel or 7 days exclusive of travel time for 
travel to areas outside the United States, unless otherwise 
approved by the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. 
These time limits may not be circumvented by different sponsors 
providing expenses to a single event. However, ``stacking'' is 
permitted where the two events are clearly independent, and 
travelers may extend trips at their own expense and on their 
own time.
    Expenses must be reasonable and they do not include 
recreation and entertainment paid for unless it is provided to 
all attendees regardless of congressional employment. Travel 
expenses for a spouse or dependent may be accepted if such 
attendance is appropriate to assist in representing the House 
of Representatives.
    Clause 2(e) requires the Clerk of the House to make 
disclosures of reimbursement available to the public as soon as 
possible after they are received. The Committee also intends 
that the Clerk of the House be required to publish an annual 
report summarizing travel expenses reimbursed during the 
previous year.
    Clause 3 imposes special restrictions on gifts from 
registered lobbyists and foreign agents, subject to the value 
thresholds of $50 per gift and $100 in the aggregate annually 
from any one source. A Member, officer or employee of the House 
may not accept gifts from lobbyists or foreign agents for legal 
defense funds; as gifts of personal hospitality; as 
transportation or lodging expenses for a fact-finding trip, 
conference or other event, including charity events; to any 
entity controlled or maintained by a Member, officer or 
employee; as charitable contributions recommended by the 
Member, officer or employee; or as a donation to an official 
conference or retreat.
    Clause 4 exempts from the gift limits charitable 
contributions made in lieu of honorarium, by a registered 
lobbyist. However, it requires the Member, officer of employee 
to report the contribution within 30 days of its designation or 
recommendation to the Clerk of the House. The report shall 
include: the name and address of the registered lobbyist who is 
making the contribution in lieu of honoraria; the date and 
amount of the contribution; and the name and address of the 
charitable organization designated or recommended by the 
Member, officer or employee. The Clerk of the House is required 
to make such information public as soon as possible after it is 
received.
    Clause 5 defines ``registered lobbyist'' to mean a lobbyist 
registered under the Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act or any 
successor statute. It defines a ``foreign agent'' to mean an 
agent of a foreign principal registered under the Foreign 
Agents Registration Act.
    Clause 6 authorizes the Committee on Standards of Official 
Conduct to interpret and enforce rule LII, and to issue 
guidance on any matter contained in this rule.
    Section 2 of the resolution authorizes the Committee on 
House Oversight, on behalf of the House, to accept a gift if it 
does not involve any duty, burden, or condition, or is not made 
dependent upon some future performance by the House.
    Section 3 provides that the resolution and the amendment 
made by the resolution shall take effect on and be effective 
for calendar years beginning January 1, 1996.

             Matters Required Under the Rules of the House

                             committee vote

    Clause 2(l)(2)(B) of rule XI requires each committee report 
to accompany any bill or resolution of a public character, 
ordered to be reported, to include the total number of votes 
cast for and against on each rollcall vote on a motion to 
report and on any amendment offered to the measure or matter, 
and the names of those members voting for and against. On 
November 14, 1995, the Committee ordered H. Res. 250, as 
amended, reported to the House, by a nonrecord vote, a quorum 
being present.

                        committee cost estimate

    Clause 2(l)(3)(B) of rule XI requires each committee report 
that accompanies a measure providing new budget authority, new 
spending authority, or new credit authority or changing 
revenues or tax expenditures to contain a cost estimate, as 
required by section 308(a)(1) of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, as amended and, when practicable with respect to 
estimates of new budget authority, a comparison of the total 
estimated funding level for the relevant program (or programs) 
to the appropriate levels under current law. Clause 7(a) of 
rule XIII requires committees to include their own cost 
estimates in certain committee reports, which include, when 
practicable, a comparison of the total estimated funding level 
for the relevant program (or programs) with the appropriate 
levels under current law.
    No cost estimate is required under this section because the 
resolution does not provide new budget authority, new spending 
authority, or new credit authority, nor does the resolution 
provide an increase or decrease in tax expenditures.

                 congressional budget office estimates

    Clause 2(l)(3)(C) of rule XI requires each Committee to 
include a cost estimate prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office, pursuant to section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, if the cost estimate is 
timely submitted. No cost estimate was received from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

                       inflation impact statement

    Clause 2(l)(4) of rule XI requires each committee report on 
a bill or joint resolution of a public character to include an 
analytical statement describing what impact enactment of the 
measure would have on prices and costs in the operation of the 
national economy. The Committee has determined that the 
resolution has no inflationary impact on the nation's economy.

                           oversight findings

    Clause 2(l)(3)(A) of rule XI requires each committee report 
to contain oversight findings and recommendations required 
pursuant to clause 2(b)(1) of rule X. The Committee has no 
oversight findings.

 oversight findings and recommendations of the committee on government 
                          reform and oversight

    Clause 2(l)(3)(D) of rule XI requires each committee report 
to contain a summary of the oversight findings and 
recommendations made by the Government Reform and Oversight 
Committee pursuant to clause 4(c)(2) of rule X, whenever such 
findings have been timely submitted. The Committee on Rules has 
received no such findings or recommendations from the Committee 
on Government Reform and Oversight.

                           comparative print

  Clause 4(d) of rule XI requires that, whenever the Committee 
on Rules reports a resolution amending or repealing the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the accompanying report must 
contain a comparative print showing the changes in existing 
rules proposes to be made by the resolution.
  Changes in existing Rules of the House of Representatives 
made by the resolution, as reported, are shown as follows 
(existing rules proposed to be omitted are enclosed in black 
brackets, new matter is printed in italic, existing rules in 
which no change is proposed is shown in roman):

                 RULES OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

          * * * * * * *

                                 Rule X

         establishment and jurisdiction of standing committees

The Committees and Their Jurisdiction
          * * * * * * *

                   Additional Functions of Committees

  4. (a) * * *
          * * * * * * *
  (d) The Committee on House Oversight shall have the function 
of--
          (1) examining all bills, amendments, and joint 
        resolutions after passage by the House and, in 
        cooperation with the Senate, examining all bills and 
        joint resolutions which shall have passed both Houses 
        to see that they are correctly enrolled, forthwith 
        presenting those which originated in the House to the 
        President of the United States in person after their 
        signature by the Speaker of the House and the President 
        of the Senate and reporting the fact and date of such 
        presentation to the House; [and]
          (2) providing policy direction for, and oversight of, 
        the Clerk, Sergeant-at-Arms, Chief Administrative 
        Officer, and Inspector General[.]; and
          (3) accepting a gift, other than as otherwise 
        provided by law, if the gift does not involve any duty, 
        burden, or condition, or is not made dependent upon 
        some future performance by the House of Representatives 
        and promulgating regulations to carry out this 
        paragraph.
          * * * * * * *

                               [Rule LII

                      [application of certain laws

  [1. There is established an Office of Compliance which shall 
have a Board of Directors consisting of 5 individuals appointed 
jointly by the Speaker and the minority leader. Appointments of 
the first 5 members of the Board of Directors shall be 
completed not later than 120 days after the beginning of the 
One Hundred Fourth Congress.
  [2. (a) The Office of Compliance shall carry out the duties 
and functions set forth in sections 2 through 16 of House 
Resolution 578, One Hundred Third Congress, including the 
issuance of regulations, to implement the requirements of the 
following laws to the House of Representatives:
          [(1) The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 
        201 et seq.), effective at the beginning of the second 
        session of the One Hundred Fourth Congress.
          [(2) Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 
        U.S.C. 2000e et seq.), effective at the beginning of 
        the second session of the One Hundred Fourth Congress.
          [(3) The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 
        U.S.C. 12101 et seq.), effective at the beginning of 
        the second session of the One Hundred Fourth Congress.
          [(4) The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 
        (29 U.S.C. 621 et seq.) (including remedies available 
        to private employees), effective at the beginning of 
        the second session of the One Hundred Fourth Congress.
          [(5) Titles I and V of the Family and Medical Leave 
        Act of 1993 (29 U.S.C. 2611 et seq.), effective at the 
        beginning of the second session of the One Hundred 
        Fourth Congress.
          [(6) The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 
        (other than section 19) (29 U.S.C. 651 et seq.) 
        (subject to paragraph (c)), effective at the beginning 
        of the One Hundred Fifth Congress.
          [(7) Chapter 71 (relating to Federal labor management 
        relations) of title 5, United States Code, effective at 
        the beginning of the One Hundred Fifth Congress.
          [(8) The Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 
        (29 U.S.C. 2001 et seq.), effective at the beginning of 
        the second session of the One Hundred Fourth Congress, 
        except that this Act shall not apply to the United 
        States Capitol Police.
          [(9) The Worker Adjustment and Retraining 
        Notification Act (29 U.S.C. 2101 et seq.), effective at 
        the beginning of the second session of the One Hundred 
        Fourth Congress.
          [(10) The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 791), 
        effective at the beginning of the second session of the 
        One Hundred Fourth Congress.
  [(b) Any provision of Federal law shall, to the extent that 
it relates to the terms and conditions of employment (including 
hiring, promotion or demotion, salary and wages, overtime 
compensation, benefits, work assignments or reassignments, 
termination, protection from discrimination in personnel 
actions, health and safety of employees, and family and medical 
leave) of employees apply to the House in accordance with this 
rule.
  [(c) The House shall comply with the Occupational Safety and 
Health Act of 1970 as follows: If a citation of a violation of 
such Act is received, action to abate the violation shall take 
place as soon as possible, but no later than the fiscal year 
following the fiscal year in which the citation is issued, 
subject to the availability of funds appropriated for that 
purpose after the receipt of the citation.
  [3. (a)(1) The Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the 
Office shall appoint, may establish the compensation of, and 
may terminate, subject to the approval of the Board of 
Directors, an Executive Director (referred to in this rule as 
the ``executive director''). The compensation of the executive 
director may not exceed the compensation for level V of the 
Executive Schedule under section 5316 of title 5, United States 
Code. The executive director shall be an individual with 
training or expertise in the application of the laws referred 
to in clause 2. The appointment of the first executive director 
shall be completed no later than 120 days after the initial 
appointment of the Board of Directors.
  [(2) The executive director may not be an individual who 
holds or may have held the position of Member of the House of 
Representatives or Senator. The executive director may not be 
an individual who holds the position of employee of the House 
or the Senate but the executive director may be an individual 
who held such a position at least 4 years before appointment as 
executive director. The term of office of the executive 
director shall be a single term of 5 years.
  [(b)(1)(A) No individual who engages in, or is otherwise 
employed in, lobbying of the Congress and who is required under 
the Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act to register with the 
Secretary of the Senate or the Clerk shall be considered 
eligible for appointment to, or service on, the Board of 
Directors.
  [(B) No member of the Board of Directors may hold or may have 
held the position of Member of the House of Representatives or 
Senator, may hold the position of employee of the House or 
Senate, or may have held such a position within 4 years of the 
date of appointment.
  [(2) If during a term of office a member of the Board of 
Directors engages in an activity described in subparagraph 
(1)(A), such position shall be declared vacant and a successor 
shall be selected in accordance with paragraph (a)(1).
  [(3) A vacancy in the Board of Directors shall be filled in 
the manner in which the original appointment was made.
  [(c)(1) Except as provided in subparagraph (2), membership on 
the Board of Directors shall be for 5 years. A member shall 
only be eligible for appointment for a single term of office.
  [(2) Of the members first appointed to the Board of 
Directors--
          [(A) 1 shall have a term of office of 3 years,
          [(B) 2 shall have a term of office of 4 years, and
          [(C) 2 shall have a term of office of 5 years,
as designated at the time of appointment by the persons 
specified in paragraph (a)(1).
  [(3) Any member of the Board of Directors may be removed from 
office by a majority decision of the appointing authorities 
described in paragraph (a)(1) and only for--
          [(A) disability that substantially prevents the 
        member from carrying out the duties of the member,
          [(B) incompetence,
          [(C) neglect of duty,
          [(D) malfeasance, or
          [(E) a felony or conduct involving moral turpitude.
  [(d) The Chairperson of the Board of Directors shall be 
appointed from the members of the Board of Directors by the 
members of the Board.]

                                Rule LII


                               gift rule


  1. (a)(1) No Member, officer, or employee of the House of 
Representatives shall knowingly accept a gift except as 
provided in this rule.
  (2) A Member, officer, or employee may accept a gift (other 
than cash or cash equivalent) which the Member, officer, or 
employee 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. No gift with a value below 
$10 shall count toward the $100 annual limit. No formal 
recordkeeping is required by this subparagraph, but a Member, 
officer, or employee shall make a good faith effort to comply 
with this subparagraph.
  (b)(1) For the purpose of this rule, the term ``gift'' means 
any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, 
loan, forbearance, or other item having monetary value. The 
term includes gifts of services, training, transportation, 
lodging, and meals, whether provided in kind, by purchase of a 
ticket, payment in advance, or reimbursement after the expense 
has been incurred.
  (2)(A) A gift to a family member of a Member, officer, or 
employee, or a gift to any other individual based on that 
individual's relationship with the Member, officer, or 
employee, shall be considered a gift to the Member, officer, or 
employee if it is given with the knowledge and acquiescence of 
the Member, officer, or employee and the Member, officer, or 
employee has reason to believe the gift was given because of 
the official position of the Member, officer, or employee.
  (B) If food or refreshment is provided at the same time and 
place to both a Member, officer, or employee and the spouse or 
dependent thereof, only the food or refreshment provided to the 
Member, officer, or employee shall be treated as a gift for 
purposes of this rule.
  (c) The restrictions in paragraph (a) shall not apply to the 
following:
          (1) Anything for which the Member, officer, or 
        employee pays the market value, or does not use and 
        promptly returns to the donor.
          (2) A contribution, as defined in section 301(8) of 
        the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431 
        et seq.) that is lawfully made under that Act, a lawful 
        contribution for election to a State or local 
        government office or attendance at a fundraising event 
        sponsored by a political organization described in 
        section 527(e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
          (3) A gift from a relative as described in section 
        109(16) of title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 
        1978 (Public Law 95-521).
          (4)(A) Anything provided by an individual on the 
        basis of a personal friendship unless the Member, 
        officer, or employee has reason to believe that, under 
        the circumstances, the gift was provided because of the 
        official position of the Member, officer, or employee 
        and not because of the personal friendship.
          (B) In determining whether a gift is provided on the 
        basis of personal friendship, the Member, officer, or 
        employee shall consider the circumstances under which 
        the gift was offered, such as:
                  (i) The history of the relationship between 
                the individual giving the gift and the 
                recipient of the gift, including any previous 
                exchange of gifts between such individuals.
                  (ii) Whether to the actual knowledge of the 
                Member, officer, or employee the individual who 
                gave the gift personally paid for the gift or 
                sought a tax deduction or business 
                reimbursement for the gift.
                  (iii) Whether to the actual knowledge of the 
                Member, officer, or employee the individual who 
                gave the gift also at the same time gave the 
                same or similar gifts to other Members, 
                officers, or employees.
          (5) Except as provided in clause 3(c), a contribution 
        or other payment to a legal expense fund established 
        for the benefit of a Member, officer, or employee that 
        is otherwise lawfully made in accordance with the 
        restrictions and disclosure requirements of the 
        Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.
          (6) Any gift from another Member, officer, or 
        employee of the Senate or the House of Representatives.
          (7) Food, refreshments, lodging, transportation, and 
        other benefits--
                  (A) resulting from the outside business or 
                employment activities (or other outside 
                activities that are not connected to the duties 
                of the Member, officer, or employee as an 
                officeholder) of the Member, officer, or 
                employee, or the spouse of the Member, officer, 
                or employee, if such benefits have not been 
                offered or enhanced because of the official 
                position of the Member, officer, or employee 
                and are customarily provided to others in 
                similar circumstances;
                  (B) customarily provided by a prospective 
                employer in connection with bona fide 
                employment discussions; or
                  (C) provided by a political organization 
                described in section 527(e) of the Internal 
                Revenue Code of 1986 in connection with a 
                fundraising or campaign event sponsored by such 
                an organization.
          (8) Pension and other benefits resulting from 
        continued participation in an employee welfare and 
        benefits plan maintained by a former employer.
          (9) Informational materials that are sent to the 
        office of the Member, officer, or employee in the form 
        of books, articles, periodicals, other written 
        materials, audiotapes, videotapes, or other forms of 
        communication.
          (10) Awards or prizes which are given to competitors 
        in contests or events open to the public, including 
        random drawings.
          (11) Honorary degrees (and associated travel, food, 
        refreshments, and entertainment) and other bona fide, 
        nonmonetary awards presented in recognition of public 
        service (and associated food, refreshments, and 
        entertainment provided in the presentation of such 
        degrees and awards).
          (12) Donations of products from the State that the 
        Member represents that are intended primarily for 
        promotional purposes, such as display or free 
        distribution, and are of minimal value to any 
        individual recipient.
          (13) Training (including food and refreshments 
        furnished to all attendees as an integral part of the 
        training) provided to a Member, officer, or employee, 
        if such training is in the interest of the House of 
        Representatives.
          (14) Bequests, inheritances, and other transfers at 
        death.
          (15) Any item, the receipt of which is authorized by 
        the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act, the Mutual 
        Educational and Cultural Exchange Act, or any other 
        statute.
          (16) Anything which is paid for by the Federal 
        Government, by a State or local government, or secured 
        by the Government under a Government contract.
          (17) A gift of personal hospitality (as defined in 
        section 109(14) of the Ethics in Government Act) of an 
        individual other than a registered lobbyist or agent of 
        a foreign principal.
          (18) Free attendance at a widely attended event 
        permitted pursuant to paragraph (d).
          (19) Opportunities and benefits which are--
                  (A) available to the public or to a class 
                consisting of all Federal employees, whether or 
                not restricted on the basis of geographic 
                consideration;
                  (B) offered to members of a group or class in 
                which membership is unrelated to congressional 
                employment;
                  (C) offered to members of an organization, 
                such as an employees' association or 
                congressional credit union, in which membership 
                is related to congressional employment and 
                similar opportunities are available to large 
                segments of the public through organizations of 
                similar size;
                  (D) offered to any group or class that is not 
                defined in a manner that specifically 
                discriminates among Government employees on the 
                basis of branch of Government or type of 
                responsibility, or on a basis that favors those 
                of higher rank or rate of pay;
                  (E) in the form of loans from banks and other 
                financial institutions on terms generally 
                available to the public; or
                  (F) in the form of reduced membership or 
                other fees for participation in organization 
                activities offered to all Government employees 
                by professional organizations if the only 
                restrictions on membership relate to 
                professional qualifications.
          (20) A plaque, trophy, or other item that is 
        substantially commemorative in nature and which is 
        intended for presentation.
          (21) Anything for which, in an unusual case, a waiver 
        is granted by the Committee on Standards of Official 
        Conduct.
          (22) Food or refreshments of a nominal value offered 
        other than as a part of a meal.
          (23) An item of nominal value such as a greeting 
        card, baseball cap, or a T-shirt.
  (d)(1) A Member, officer, or employee may accept an offer of 
free attendance at a widely attended convention, conference, 
symposium, forum, panel discussion, dinner, viewing, reception, 
or similar event, provided by the sponsor of the event, if--
          (A) the Member, officer, or employee participates in 
        the event as a speaker or a panel participant, by 
        presenting information related to Congress or matters 
        before Congress, or by performing a ceremonial function 
        appropriate to the Member's, officer's, or employee's 
        official position; or
          (B) attendance at the event is appropriate to the 
        performance of the official duties or representative 
        function of the Member, officer, or employee.
  (2) A Member, officer, or employee who attends an event 
described in subparagraph (1) may accept a sponsor's 
unsolicited offer of free attendance at the event for an 
accompanying individual if others in attendance will generally 
be similarly accompanied or if such attendance is appropriate 
to assist in the representation of the House of 
Representatives.
  (3) A Member, officer, or employee, or the spouse or 
dependent thereof, may accept a sponsor's unsolicited offer of 
free attendance at a charity event, except that reimbursement 
for transportation and lodging may not be accepted in 
connection with the event.
  (4) For purposes of this paragraph, the term ``free 
attendance'' may include waiver of all or part of a conference 
or other fee, the provision of local transportation, or the 
provision of food, refreshments, entertainment, and 
instructional materials furnished to all attendees as an 
integral part of the event. The term does not include 
entertainment collateral to the event, nor does it include food 
or refreshments taken other than in a group setting with all or 
substantially all other attendees.
  (e) No Member, officer, or employee may accept a gift the 
value of which exceeds $250 on the basis of the personal 
friendship exception in paragraph (c)(4) unless the Committee 
on Standards of Official Conduct issues a written determination 
that such exception applies. No determination under this 
paragraph is required for gifts given on the basis of the 
family relationship exception.
  (f) When it is not practicable to return a tangible item 
because it is perishable, the item may, at the discretion of 
the recipient, be given to an appropriate charity or destroyed.
  2. (a)(1) A reimbursement (including payment in kind) to a 
Member, officer, or employee from a private source other than a 
registered lobbyist or agent of a foreign principal for 
necessary transportation, lodging and related expenses for 
travel to a meeting, speaking engagement, factfinding trip or 
similar event in connection with the duties of the Member, 
officer, or employee as an officeholder shall be deemed to be a 
reimbursement to the House of Representatives and not a gift 
prohibited by this rule, if the Member, officer, or employee--
          (A) in the case of an employee, receives advance 
        authorization, from the Member or officer under whose 
        direct supervision the employee works, to accept 
        reimbursement, and
          (B) discloses the expenses reimbursed or to be 
        reimbursed and the authorization to the Clerk of the 
        House of Representatives within 30 days after the 
        travel is completed.
  (2) For purposes of paragraph (a)(1), events, the activities 
of which are substantially recreational in nature, shall not be 
considered to be in connection with the duties of a Member, 
officer, or employee as an officeholder.
  (b) Each advance authorization to accept reimbursement shall 
be signed by the Member or officer under whose direct 
supervision the employee works and shall include--
          (1) the name of the employee;
          (2) the name of the person who will make the 
        reimbursement;
          (3) the time, place, and purpose of the travel; and
          (4) a determination that the travel is in connection 
        with the duties of the employee as an officeholder and 
        would not create the appearance that the employee is 
        using public office for private gain.
  (c) Each disclosure made under paragraph (a)(1) of expenses 
reimbursed or to be reimbursed shall be signed by the Member or 
officer (in the case of travel by that Member or officer) or by 
the Member or officer under whose direct supervision the 
employee works (in the case of travel by an employee) and shall 
include--
          (1) a good faith estimate of total transportation 
        expenses reimbursed or to be reimbursed;
          (2) a good faith estimate of total lodging expenses 
        reimbursed or to be reimbursed;
          (3) a good faith estimate of total meal expenses 
        reimbursed or to be reimbursed;
          (4) a good faith estimate of the total of other 
        expenses reimbursed or to be reimbursed;
          (5) a determination that all such expenses are 
        necessary transportation, lodging, and related expenses 
        as defined in paragraph (d); and
          (6) in the case of a reimbursement to a Member or 
        officer, a determination that the travel was in 
        connection with the duties of the Member or officer as 
        an officeholder and would not create the appearance 
        that the Member or officer is using public office for 
        private gain.
  (d) For the purposes of this clause, the term ``necessary 
transportation, lodging, and related expenses''--
          (1) includes reasonable expenses that are necessary 
        for travel for a period not exceeding 3 days exclusive 
        of travel time within the United States or 7 days 
        exclusive of travel time outside of the United States 
        unless approved in advance by the Committee on 
        Standards of Official Conduct;
          (2) is limited to reasonable expenditures for 
        transportation, lodging, conference fees and materials, 
        and food and refreshments, including reimbursement for 
        necessary transportation, whether or not such 
        transportation occurs within the periods described in 
        subparagraph (1);
          (3) does not include expenditures for recreational 
        activities, nor does it include entertainment other 
        than that provided to all attendees as an integral part 
        of the event, except for activities or entertainment 
        otherwise permissible under this rule; and
          (4) may include travel expenses incurred on behalf of 
        either the spouse or a child of the Member, officer, or 
        employee, subject to a determination signed by the 
        Member or officer (or in the case of an employee, the 
        Member or officer under whose direct supervision the 
        employee works) that the attendance of the spouse or 
        child is appropriate to assist in the representation of 
        the House of Representatives.
  (e) The Clerk of the House of Representatives shall make 
available to the public all advance authorizations and 
disclosures of reimbursement filed pursuant to paragraph (a) as 
soon as possible after they are received.
  3. A gift prohibited by clause 1(a) includes the following:
          (a) Anything provided by a registered lobbyist or an 
        agent of a foreign principal to an entity that is 
        maintained or controlled by a Member, officer, or 
        employee.
          (b) A charitable contribution (as defined in section 
        170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) made by a 
        registered lobbyist or an agent of a foreign principal 
        on the basis of a designation, recommendation, or other 
        specification of a Member, officer, or employee (not 
        including a mass mailing or other solicitation directed 
        to a broad category of persons or entities), other than 
        a charitable contribution permitted by clause 4.
          (c) A contribution or other payment by a registered 
        lobbyist or an agent of a foreign principal to a legal 
        expense fund established for the benefit of a Member, 
        officer, or employee.
          (d) A financial contribution or expenditure made by a 
        registered lobbyist or an agent of a foreign principal 
        relating to a conference, retreat, or similar event, 
        sponsored by or affiliated with an official 
        congressional organization, for or on behalf of 
        Members, officers, or employees.
  4. (a) A charitable contribution (as defined in section 
170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) made by a 
registered lobbyist or an agent of a foreign principal in lieu 
of an honorarium to a Member, officer, or employee shall not be 
considered a gift under this rule if it is reported as provided 
in paragraph (b).
  (b) A Member, officer, or employee who designates or 
recommends a contribution to a charitable organization in lieu 
of honoraria described in paragraph (a) shall report within 30 
days after such designation or recommendation to the Clerk of 
the House of Representatives--
          (1) the name and address of the registered lobbyist 
        who is making the contribution in lieu of honoraria;
          (2) the date and amount of the contribution; and
          (3) the name and address of the charitable 
        organization designated or recommended by the Member.
The Clerk of the House of Representatives shall make public 
information received pursuant to this paragraph as soon as 
possible after it is received.
  5. For purposes of this rule--
          (a) the term ``registered lobbyist'' means a lobbyist 
        registered under the Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act 
        or any successor statute; and
          (b) the term ``agent of a foreign principal'' means 
        an agent of a foreign principal registered under the 
        Foreign Agents Registration Act.
  6. All the provisions of this rule shall be interpreted and 
enforced solely by the Committee on Standards of Official 
Conduct. The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct is 
authorized to issue guidance on any matter contained in this 
rule.
          * * * * * * *

                       views of committee members

    Clause 2(l)(5) of rule XI requires each committee to afford 
a three day opportunity for members of the committee to file 
additional, minority, or dissenting views and to include the 
views in its report. Although neither requirement applies to 
the Committee, the Committee always makes the maximum effort to 
provide its members with such an opportunity. The following 
views were submitted:
                             MINORITY VIEWS

    We support the passage of H. Res. 250, as introduced. Since 
the first day of this Congress, Democrats have sought to reform 
the rules relating to the acceptance of gifts. But our support 
for gift reform has been, and remains, inextricably linked to 
lobby reform. These issues were considered and passed twice by 
the House of Representatives in the 103rd Congress. We have, in 
the eleven months of the 104th Congress, sought time and again 
to bring these issues to the full House for consideration.
    We have pursued these reforms as part of a long-term effort 
to improve Congressional accountability. We sincerely believe 
that the men and women who serve in this institution do so not 
for personal gain, but rather, in the hopes of making a 
contribution to our great Nation. Unfortunately, that message 
has gotten lost. Rightly or wrongly, the issue of special-
interest influence has cast a shadow over this body. We must 
act decisively to assure the American electorate that we are 
here to do the people's business, not to take vacations to 
exotic locales or dine in fancy restaurants. In order to move 
in that direction, House Democrats have on six separate votes 
attempted to bring up this issue. See appendix.
    Our efforts have, however, met strong resistance from the 
Republican leadership. Republican freshmen who support this 
issue have, in spite of their numbers, also met this 
resistance. In the eleven months that have passed since the 
beginning of the ``reform'' Congress, the House has not been 
given the opportunity to take action on these issues. While we 
welcome this long overdue consideration of gift reform, we must 
take the opportunity to point out our belief that had it not 
been for the continued pressure of Democrats committed to 
pursuing this issue--as well as the closely-linked issues of 
lobby and campaign reform--to completion, it is doubtful that 
the issue would have been addressed by the Republican 
leadership.
    We would also like to point out that it is commendable that 
the resolution has been sponsored by a Republican freshman 
Member. This is not an issue, however, that belongs to any 
individual Member or any political party. This is a bipartisan 
issue and effort. Democrats have taken a leadership role in 
pressing for reform and continue to press for greater 
accountability of the part of elected officials. We remain 
committed to the entire reform package and urge the Republican 
leadership to bring lobby reform to the House as soon as 
possible.
    We urge such action because we believe that without 
significant reform of lobby disclosure laws, the reform of the 
gift rule will be but a meaningless gesture. The proposal 
brought to the Rules Committee does indeed lower the value of 
gifts which may be accepted by Members, officers and employees 
of the House. This proposal also imposes significant new 
disclosure for travel, not only the associated costs, but also 
a determination of how such travel relates to the duties of 
Members as office holders. It restricts gift giving by 
lobbyists but unless we also change the definition of 
``lobbyist'' this is an insignificant reform. But the most far-
reaching, and seemingly controversial, provision relates to 
Members' participation in recreational charity events--the 
infamous golf, tennis, and ski vacations. As introduced, H. 
Res. 250 prohibits Members and staff from accepting free travel 
to and lodging at these events. We can no longer afford, as an 
institution, to be seen as willing to accept free vacations. 
Any weakening of this provision should be strongly opposed by 
any Member who professes the desire to reform this institution.
    Prior to 1968, the Rules of the House of Representatives 
contained no provision regulating the acceptance of gifts from 
domestic sources. But the issue of undue influence by special 
interests long before and since has continued to color the 
public's perception of how business gets done in Washington. In 
spite of several significant reforms since 1968, most notably 
in 1989 when a bipartisan package of amendments banned 
honoraria and placed strict limits on the acceptance of gifts, 
the public's view of this institution has not improved. There 
are a myriad of reasons for this phenomenon--not the least of 
which is the institution-bashing that has littered the 
political landscape with such abandon in recent years--but the 
bottom line is that it is the responsibility of each and every 
Member of this body to do whatever is required to assure the 
American people that this institution exists to serve them, not 
just the moneyed special interests.
    Consequently, we endorse H. Res. 250 as it was introduced. 
We understand the concerns of Members that the provisions of 
this proposed rule might be easily misunderstood or 
misinterpreted. But it is our view that if in order to address 
those concerns this proposal is weakened, the only alternative 
would be a vote on a total and complete ban on the acceptance 
of gifts of any kind.

                                   Joe Moakley.
                                   Martin Frost.
                                   Anthony Beilenson.
                                   Tony P. Hall.
                            A P P E N D I X

                              ----------                              


        Votes of Gift Ban and Lobby Reform in the 104th Congress

    January 4, 1995--ordering the previous question on the rule 
(H. Res. 5) for consideration of opening day rules package to 
consider gift ban reform (232-199).
    January 4, 1995--Bonior motion to recommit the rule (H. 
Res. 5) for consideration of the opening day rules package to 
the Rules Committee with instructions to adopt gift ban reform 
(195-235).
    June 20, 1995--ordering the previous question on the rule 
(H. Res. 169) for Legislative Branch Appropriations to make in 
order the Baldacchi amendment on gift ban reform (232-196).
    June 22, 1995--Miller motion to recommit the Legislative 
Branch Appropriations (H.R. 1854) bill to add gift ban reform 
(186-240).
    September 6, 1995--ordering the previous question on the 
rule (H. Res. 206) for Legislative Branch Appropriations 
Conference Report to add Senate-passed gift ban and lobby 
reform legislation (228-179).
    October 31, 1995--ordering the previous question on the 
rule (Res. 239) for second Legislative Branch Appropriations 
bill to add Waldholtz gift ban bill and McHale lobby reform 
bill (235-184).