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Senate Rule XXXIV-XXXVIII - Finances

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Rule XXXIV - Public financial disclosure

1. For purposes of this rule, the provisions of title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (Pub. L. 95521) shall be deemed to be a rule of the Senate as it pertains to Members, officers, and employees of the Senate.

2. (a) The Select Committee on Ethics shall transmit a copy of each report filed with it under title I of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (other than a report filed by a Member of Congress) to the head of the employing office of the individual filing the report.

(b) For purposes of this rule, the head of the employing office shall be

(1) in the case of an employee of a Member, the Member by whom that person is employed;

(2) in the case of an employee of a Committee, the chairman and ranking minority member of such Committee;

(3) in the case of an employee on the leadership staff, the Member of the leadership on whose staff such person serves; and

(4) in the case of any other employee of the legislative branch, the head of the office in which such individual serves.

3. In addition to the requirements of paragraph 1, Members, officers, and employees of the Senate shall include in each report filed under paragraph 1 the following additional information:

(a) For purposes of section 102(a)(1)(B) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 additional categories of income as follows:

(1) greater than $1,000,000 but not more than $5,000,000, or

(2) greater than $5,000,000.

(b) for purposes of section 102(d)(1) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 additional categories of value as follows:

(1) greater than $1,000,000 but not more than $5,000,000;

(2) greater than $5,000,000 but not more than $25,000,000;

(3) greater than $25,000,000 but not more than $50,000,000; and

(4) greater than $50,000,000.

(c) For purposes of this paragraph and section 102 of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, additional categories with amounts or values greater than $1,000,000 set forth in section 102(a)(1)(B) and 102(d)(1) shall apply to the income, assets, or liabilities of spouses and dependent children only if the income, assets, or liabilities are held jointly with the reporting individual. All other income, assets, or liabilities of the spouse or dependent children required to be reported under section 102 and this paragraph in an amount or value greater than $1,000,000 shall be categorized only as an amount or value greater than $1,000,000.

4. In addition to the requirements of paragraph 1, Members, officers, and employees of the Senate shall include in each report filed under paragraph 1 an additional statement under section 102(a) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 listing the category of the total cash value of any interest of the reporting individual in a qualified blind trust as provided in section 102(d)(1) of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, unless the trust instrument was executed prior to July 24, 1995 and precludes the beneficiary from receiving information on the total cash value of any interest in the qualified blind trust.

Rule XXXV - Gifts

1. (a)(1) No Member, officer, or employee of the Senate 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 paragraph, but a Member, officer, or employee shall make a good faith effort to comply with this paragraph.

(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 subparagraph (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 the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431 et seq.) that is lawfully made under that Act, 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 Reform of 1989 (5 U.S.C. App. 6).

(4)(A) Anything, including personal hospitality, 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) 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, subject to the disclosure requirements of the Select Committee on Ethics, except as provided in paragraph 3(c).

(6) Any gift from another Member, officer, or employee of the Senate or the House of Representatives.

(7) Food, refreshments, lodging, 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 incontests 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 Senate.

(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 subparagraph (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 solely for presentation.

(21) Anything for which, in an unusual case, a waiver is granted by the Select Committee on Ethics.

(22) Food or refreshments of a nominal value offered other than as a part of a meal.

(23) An item of little intrinsic value such as a greeting card, baseball cap, or a Tshirt.

(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 clause (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 Senate.

(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 an event that does not meet the standards provided in paragraph 2.

(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 subparagraph (c)(4) unless the Select Committee on Ethics issues a written determination that such exception applies. No determination under this subparagraph 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 an individual 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 Senate 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 Secretary of the Senate within 30 days after the travel is completed.

(2) For purposes of clause (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 subparagraph (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 this paragraph; 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 paragraph, 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 Select Committee on Ethics;

(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 clause (1);

(3) does not include expenditures for recreational activities, not roes 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 Senate.

(e) The Secretary of the Senate shall make available to the public all advance authorizations and disclosures of reimbursement filed pursuant to subparagraph (a) as soon as possible after they are received.

3. A gift prohibited by paragraph 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 paragraph 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 subparagraph (b).

(b) A Member, officer, or employee who designates or recommends a contribution to a charitable organization in lieu of honoraria described in subparagraph (a) shall report within 30 days after such designation or recommendation to the Secretary of the Senate

(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 Secretary of the Senate shall make public information received pursuant to this subparagraph 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 Select Committee on Ethics.

The Select Committee on Ethics is authorized to issue guidance on any matter contained in this rule.

Rule XXXVI - Outside earned income

For purposes of this rule, the provisions of section 501 of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App. 7 501) shall be deemed to be a rule of the Senate as it pertains to Members, officers, and employees of the Senate.

Rule XXXVII - Conflict of interest

1. A Member, officer, or employee of the Senate shall not receive any compensation, nor shall he permit any compensation to accrue to his beneficial interest from any source, the receipt or accrual of which would occur by virtue of influence improperly exerted from his position as a Member, officer, or employee.

2. No Member, officer, or employee shall engage in any outside business or professional activity or employment for compensation which is inconsistent or in conflict with the conscientious performance of official duties.

3. No officer or employee shall engage in any outside business or professional activity or employment for compensation unless he has reported in writing when such activity or employment commences and on May 15 of each year thereafter so long as such activity or employment continues, the nature of such activity or employment to his supervisor. The supervisor shall then, in the discharge of his duties, take such action as he considers necessary for the avoidance of conflict of interest or interference with duties to the Senate.

4. No Member, officer, or employee shall knowingly use his official position to introduce or aid the progress or passage of legislation, a principal purpose of which is to further only his pecuniary interest, only the pecuniary interest of his immediate family, or only the pecuniary interest of a limited class of persons or enterprises, when he, or his immediate family, or enterprises controlled by them, are members of the affected class.

5. (a) No Member, officer, or employee of the Senate compensated at a rate in excess of $25,000 per annum and employed for more than ninety days in a calendar year shall (1) affiliate with a firm, partnership, association, or corporation for the purpose of providing professional services for compensation; (2) permit that individual's name to be used by such a firm, partnership, association or corporation; or (3) practice a profession for compensation to any extent during regular office hours of the Senate office in which employed. For the purposes of this paragraph, "professional services" shall include but not be limited to those which involve a fiduciary relationship.

(b) A Member or an officer or employee whose rate of basic pay is equal to or greater than 120 percent of the annual rate of basic pay in effect for grade GS-15 of the General Schedule shall not

(1) receive compensation for affiliating with or being employed by a firm, partnership, association, corporation, or other entity which provides professional services involving a fiduciary relationship;

(2) permit that Member's, officer's, or employee's name to be used by any such firm, partnership, association, corporation, or other entity;

(3) receive compensation for practicing a profession which involves a fiduciary relationship; or

(4) receive compensation for teaching, without the prior notification and approval of the Committee on Ethics.

6. (a) No Member, officer, or employee of the Senate compensated at a rate in excess of $25,000 per annum and employed for more than ninety days in a calendar year shall serve as an officer or member of the board of any publicly held or publicly regulated corporation, financial institution, or business entity. The preceding sentence shall not apply to service of a Member, officer, or employee as

(1) an officer or member of the board of an organization which is exempt from taxation under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, if such service is performed without compensation;

(2) an officer or member of the board of an institution or organization which is principally available to Members, officers, or employees of the Senate, or their families, if such service is performed without compensation; or

(3) a member of the board of a corporation, institution, or other business entity, if (A) the Member, officer, or employee had served continuously as a member of the board thereof for at least two years prior to his election or appointment as a Member, officer, or employee of the Senate, (B) the amount of time required to perform such service is minimal, and (C) the Member, officer, or employee is not a member of, or a member of the staff of any Senate committee which has legislative jurisdiction over any agency of the Government charged with regulating the activities of the corporation, institution, or other business entity.

(b) A Member or an officer or employee whose rate of basic pay is equal to or greater than 120 percent of the annual rate of basic pay in effect for grade GS-15 of the General Schedule shall not serve for compensation as an officer or member of the board of any association, corporation, or other entity.

7. An employee on the staff of a committee who is compensated at a rate in excess of $25,000 per annum and employed for more than ninety days in a calendar year shall divest himself of any substantial holdings which may be directly affected by the actions of the committee for which he works, unless the Select Committee, after consultation with the employee's supervisor, grants permission in writing to retain such holdings or the employee makes other arrangements acceptable to the Select Committee and the employee's supervisor to avoid participation in committee actions where there is a conflict of interest, or the appearance thereof.

8. If a Member, upon leaving office, becomes a registered lobbyist under the Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act of 1946 or any successor statute, or is employed or retained by such a registered lobbyist for the purpose of influencing legislation, he shall not lobby Members, officers, or employees of the Senate for a period of one year after leaving office.

9. If an employee on the staff of a Member, upon leaving that position, becomes a registered lobbyist under the Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act of 1946 or any successor statute, or is employed or retained by such a registered lobbyist for the purpose of influencing legislation, such employee may not lobby the Member for whom he worked or that Member's staff for a period of one year after leaving that position. If an employee on the staff of a committee, upon leaving his position, becomes such a registered lobbyist or is employed or retained by such a registered lobbyist for the purpose of influencing legislation, such employee may not lobby the members of the committee for which he worked, or the staff of that committee, for a period of one year after leaving his position.

10. (a) Except as provided by subparagraph (b), any employee of the Senate who is required to file a report pursuant to rule XXXIV shall refrain from participating personally and substantially as an employee of the Senate in any contact with any agency of the executive or judicial branch of Government with respect to nonlegislative matters affecting any nongovernmental person in which the employee has a significant financial interest.

(b) Subparagraph (a) shall not apply if an employee first advises his supervising authority of his significant financial interest and obtains from his employing authority a written waiver stating that the participation of the employee is necessary. A copy of each such waiver shall be filed with the Select Committee.

11. For purposes of this rule

(a) "employee of the Senate" includes an employee or individual described in paragraphs 2, 3, and 4(c) of rule XLI;

(b) an individual who is an employee on the staff of a subcommittee of a committee shall be treated as an employee on the staff of such committee; and

(c) the term "lobbying" means any oral or written communication to influence the content or disposition of any issue before Congress, including any pending or future bill, resolution, treaty, nomination, hearing, report, or investigation; but does not include

(1) a communication (i) made in the form of testimony given before a committee or office of the Congress, or (ii) submitted for inclusion in the public record, public docket, or public file of a hearing; or

(2) a communication by an individual, acting solely on his own behalf, for redress of personal grievances, or to express his personal opinion.

12. For purposes of this rule

(a) a Senator or the Vice President is the supervisor of his administrative, clerical, or other assistants;

(b) a Senator who is the chairman of a committee is the supervisor of the professional, clerical, or other assistants to the committee except that minority staff members shall be under the supervision of the ranking minority Senator on the committee;

(c) a Senator who is a chairman of a subcommittee which has its own staff and financial authorization is the supervisor of the professional, clerical, or other assistants to the subcommittee except that minority staff members shall be under the supervision of the ranking minority Senator on the subcommittee;

(d) the President pro tempore is the supervisor of the Secretary of the Senate, Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper, the Chaplain, the Legislative Counsel, and the employees of the Office of the Legislative Counsel;

(e) the Secretary of the Senate is the supervisor of the employees of his office;

(f) the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper is the supervisor of the employees of his office;

(g) the Majority and Minority Leaders and the Majority and Minority Whips are the supervisors of the research, clerical, or other assistants assigned to their respective offices;

(h) the Majority Leader is the supervisor of the Secretary for the Majority and the Secretary for the Majority is the supervisor of the employees of his office; and

(i) the Minority Leader is the supervisor of the Secretary for the Minority and the Secretary for the Minority is the supervisor of the employees of his office.

Rule XXXVIII - Prohibition of unofficial office accounts

1. (a) No Member may maintain or have maintained for his use an unofficial office account. The term "unofficial office account" means an account or repository into which funds are received for the purpose, at least in part, of defraying otherwise unreimbursed expenses allowable in connection with the operation of a Member's office. An unofficial office account does not include, and expenses incurred by a Member in connection with his official duties shall be defrayed only from

(1) personal funds of the Member;

(2) official funds specifically appropriated for that purpose;

(3) funds derived from a political committee (as defined in section 301(d) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431)); and

(4) funds received as reasonable reimbursements for expenses incurred by a Member in connection with personal services provided by the Member to the organization making the reimbursement.

(b) Notwithstanding subparagraph (a), official expenses may be defrayed only as provided by subsections (d) and (i) of section 311 of the Legislative Appropriations Act, 1991 (Pub. L. 101-520).

2. No contribution (as defined in section 301(e) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431)) shall be converted to the personal use of any Member or any former Member. For the purposes of this rule "personal use" does not include reimbursement of expenses incurred by a Member in connection with his official duties.

Articles and Resources

Resources

Articles

  • "Rule XXXIV," U.S. Senate - Committee on Rules and Administration, 2005.