Legislation has passed the House revising the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 to establish further enforcement measures in order to “investigate and prosecute” underdisclosure or failure to disclose by entities lobbying the federal government.
The bill, H.R. 5751, originally titled “The Fee on Lobbyists Act,” was amended and passed as titled the “Lobbying Disclosure Enhancement Act.” Sponsored by Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio), the legislation passed the House by voice vote on Wednesday, July 28. Referred to the Senate, it is now awaiting action in the Senate Judiciary Committee. With both houses of the Congress on August recess, the bill will likely not see action in the immediate future.
The bill as now amended is significantly different than the original legislation. It does three things:
1. Establishes an “Enforcement Task Force” for purposes of “investigating and prosecuting” cases referred under the LDA to the DOJ.
2. Replaces the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia with the Attorney General for purposes of referral and enforcement.
3. Inserts the language “Section 6(b)(1) of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1605(b)(1)) is amended by striking `by case’ and all that follows through `public record’ and inserting `by case and name of the individual lobbyists or lobbying firms involved, any sentences imposed’.”
The original language about fee structures and increased enforcement, including a proposed $50 fee per LDA filing and fee structure for failure to disclose, is not in the final legislation.
View our reporting on the original bill here at Lobby Blog. View the text of the bill here at THOMAS.