The House passed an amendment to the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (as amended by 2007’s Honest Leadership &Open Government Act) on June 28. Originally the bill sought to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act, but as passed, it now amends the Lobbying Disclosure Act to “prohibit any registered lobbyist whose clients include foreign governments which are found to be sponsors of international terrorism or include other foreign nationals from making contributions and other campaign-related disbursements in elections for public office.”
The Bill passed 408-4, and received very little attention. And while this is a minor change, it could potentially limit some lobbyists from contributing politically, exercising their political speech rights in U.S. elections. According to the Department of State, there are four currently-recognized state sponsors of terrorism: Cuba, Iran, Syria, and Sudan. Updated: compliance expert Mark Ward points out below in the comments that: “Lobbyists of foreign governments and foreign political parties do not register under the LDA; they must register under FARA; The laws allows agents of foreign corporations to register under the LDA in lieu of FARA, but must do so even if LDA thresholds are not met.” This was not clear in the original post. Thank you to Mark for bringing it to our attention.
The bill text is now available from the GPO here (H.R. 5609). The Library of Congress’s THOMAS profile of the bill is now available here.