“Home State” Products
A Member may accept “[d]onations of products from the district or 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 single recipient.” (House Rule XXV, clause 5(a)(3)(V)). Several points to bear in mind regarding this provision are as follows:
- This provision applies to tangible items only. Thus, for example, tickets to a museum or a show in a Member’s district may not be accepted under this provision.
- To be acceptable under this provision, an item must be produced or grown in the Member’s home state.
- If the item is to be distributed for free, it must be of “minimal value” – candy bars, apples, and peanuts that are produced or grown in a Member’s state are common examples.
- The provision applies not only to small items that can be given away, but also to home-state items that can be displayed in the office – for example, a Christmas tree grown in the Member’s home state.
- The provision allows acceptance of items “that are intended primarily for promotional purposes.” Accordingly, any give-away items must be available to office visitors, and not merely to Members and staff. Likewise, any display item must be placed in the reception area of the office.