Gift Waivers

Gift Waivers

A House Member, officer, or employee who is requesting a gift waiver for gifts received in connection with a special or unusual occasion, such as a wedding or engagement, the birth or adoption of a child, or a death in the family, must now use the form below to make that request, rather than writing a letter to the Committee.  In addition, Members, officers, and employees who are required to file an annual Financial Disclosure Statements, may seek a waiver of the requirement to report such gifts on their annual Financial Disclosure Statements.  If the financial disclosure waiver is approved by the Committee, the waiver request form will be filed with the Clerk of the House for public disclosure.

Disclosing gifts from foreign goverments

Tangible gifts above “minimal value” accepted from a foreign government under the Foreign Gifts & Decorations Act (FGDA) must be disclosed.  For the years 2017-2019, “minimal value” under the FGDA is defined as $390.  The form is not required for any gift from a foreign government that does not exceed the $390 minimal value.  Any tangible gifts above minimal value accepted under the FGDA must be turned over to the Clerk, or, with written permission from the Ethics Committee, such gifts may be retained for official use during the recipient’s tenure in Congress.    Note that this form should be filed directly with the Ethics Committee in 1015 Longworth, not with the Clerk in the Legislative Resource Center.  

Personal Friendship

Any Member, officer, or employee of the House may accept a gift that is given on the basis of personal friendship, unless there is reason to believe that the gift was provided because of the individual’s official position and not because of the personal friendship.  However, if the gift exceeds $250 in value, Members, officers, and employees must seek written approval from the Committee.  A House Member, officer, or employee who is requesting approval of a gift under the Personal Friendship Exception must now use the form below to make that request, rather writing the Committee.   

In determining whether a gift is provided on the basis of personal friendship, one should consider:  (1)  the history of the official’s relationship with the donor, including any previous exchange of gifts, (2)  whether, to the official’s actual knowledge the donor personally paid for the gift or sought a tax deduction or business reimbursement for the it, and (3) whether, to the official’s actual knowledge, the donor at the same time gave the same or similar gifts to other Members of staff.