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Prohibited Lobbyist Gifts

Below is a condensed version of this topic; for complete guidance please refer to the House Ethics Manual, Chapter 2 on gifts.

Other Expressly Prohibited Lobbyist Gifts

A Member, officer, or employee may not accept any gift, except as the rule specifically provides. Thus, unless a gift falls into one of the categories of acceptable gifts, it may not be accepted. In addition to the prohibition on lobbyists and foreign agent gifts under the general gift rule provision, the rule also expressly prohibits the acceptance of certain other gifts from registered lobbyists and foreign agents. The other gifts that are expressly prohibited are as follows:

“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 of the House.” (House Rule 25, clause 5(e)(1));

“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 of the House (not including a mass mailing or other solicitation directed to a broad category of persons or entities), other than a charitable contribution [made in lieu of an honorarium].” (Id., clause 5(e)(2));

“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 of the House.” (Id., clause 5(e)(3)); and

“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 of the House.” (Id., clause 5(e)(4)).