House Office of the Clerk

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Contents

Overview

The Clerk of the United States House of Representatives makes available a number of public documents. Some are available online, however, many are only available in hardcopy at the Legislative Resource Center. Although many documents in the LRC are in electronic format, users may only print the documents at $0.10/page.

Citizens who wish to obtain documents must visit the Legislative Resource Center, located at B-106, Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515. The office's phone number is 202-226-5200, and office hours are 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. The office's website is http://clerk.house.gov/about/offices_lrc.html.

The Office of the Clerk's main webpage is available at http://clerk.house.gov/ here. Unlike the Senate, the Clerk does not publish a master list of documents available at that office.

The following is a survey of publicly available information regarding the U.S. House of Representatives from the Clerk's office.

Filings/Documents Available at the Clerk's Office and Online

Financial Disclosure Forms and Reports

Summary: Financial Disclosure Reports include information about the source, type, amount, or value of the incomes of Members, officers, certain employees of the U.S. House of Representatives and related offices, and candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives.

  • Is information available online or offline?
  • Who is covered?
    • Member of Congress: Yes
    • Congressional staff: Yes
    • Do all staff file? Individuals compensated at or above 120 percent of the minimum pay for Executive Branch GS-15 (the “senior staff” rate) for at least 60 days in a calendar year. Also, a Member is required to designate at least one current employee as a principal assistant to file a Financial Disclosure Statement if the Member does not have an employee paid at or above the senior staff rate.
  • In what formats is the data made available?
    • Bulk/aggregate data: Yes
      • Format: .txt, .xls
      • Problems with data: Forms are rotated 90 degrees
      • Can you search by Member to get staff information? No
    • Individual data: Yes
      • Format: Web form
      • Years: 2008-2009
      • Can you search by Member to get staff? No
  • Can Members/Staff file online: Yes
    • Under what circumstances must they file?
      • Is there a trigger: No
    • Are filings required on a regular basis: Yes
      • If so, when: Yearly, by May 15, but extensions are available
  • Other: Reports of Members are printed annually by the Clerk and distributed as a House Document. Individuals who want to review the records must fill out a form stating name, address, and occupation. These requests are retained and made public for 6 years from the date of the request.

Gift and Travel Filings

Summary: Reports on travel-related expenses that are (1) incurred by Members and (2) are reimbursed by non­government sources. Reports also cover charitable contributions made in lieu of honoraria (a payment for services that does not have a set fee).

  • Is information available online or offline?
  • Who is covered?
    • Member of Congress: Yes
    • Congressional staffers: Yes
    • Do all staff file? Yes
  • In what formats is the data made available?
    • Bulk/aggregate data:
      • Format: .xls, .txt
      • Years covered: 2007-2009
      • Can you search by Member to get staff information? No
    • Individual data:
      • Format: Online
      • Years: 2007-2009
      • Can you search by Member to get staff information? No
  • Can Members/Staff file online: No
    • Under what circumstances must they file? Members, officers, and staff must file reports which detail travel-related expenses reimbursed by non­government sources and charitable contributions made in lieu of honoraria (a payment for services that do not have a set fee).
      • Is there a trigger? Travel
    • Are filings required on a regular basis: No
    • Form is available online (PDF)

Foreign Travel Reports and Expenditures

Summary: Reports of certain expenditures for all official foreign travel by Members and staff of the U.S. House of Representatives.

  • Is information available online or offline?
  • Who is covered?
    • Member of Congress: Yes
    • Congressional staffers: Yes
    • Do all staff file? Yes
  • In what formats is the data made available?
    • Bulk/aggregate data: Yes
      • Format: .txt, .pdf
      • Years: 1994-2009
      • Can you search by Member to get staff information? No
    • Individual data: No
  • Can Members/Staff file online: UNKNOWN
    • Under what circumstances must they file?
      • Is there a trigger: Whenever the Member takes a foreign trip
    • Are filings required on a regular basis: Yes
      • If so, when: Must file report within 30 days after trip

Post Employment Lobbying Restrictions Database

Summary: Database regarding post-employment lobbying restrictions. Departing Members of Congress, Officers, and certain covered House employees are prohibited from lobbying and other activities for a period of time after they leave House employment. This database identifies the start and end dates of those restrictions. 

  • Is information available online or offline?
  • Who is covered?
    • Member of Congress: Yes
    • Congressional staffers: Yes
    • Do all staff file? No
  • In what formats is the data made available?
    • Bulk/aggregate data: No
    • Individual data: Yes
      • Format: Webform
      • Years: Last 6 years
      • Can you search by Member to get staff? No
    • Members of Congress are not listed in the database
  • Can Members/Staff file online: N/A
    • Under what circumstances must they file?
      • Is there a trigger? When they leave government service

Lobbying Disclosure Filing

Summary: Filing required before a lobbyist is able to lobby the House.

  • Is information available online or offline?
  • Who is covered?
    • Lobbyists
  • In what formats is the data made available?
    • Bulk/aggregate data: Yes
      • Format: XML
    • Individual data: By Lobbyist
      • Format: XML, CSV
      • Years: 2001-2009
      • Can you search by Member to get lobbyist information?
  • Can lobbyist file online: Yes
    • Are filings required on a regular basis: Yes
      • If so, when: 20 days past the end of the quarter, or April 20, July 20, October 20 and January 20
  • Other: Can search database by multiple criteria, including date, amount reported, name, foreign country, client, issue and government entity

Lobbying Contribution

Summary: A database of lobbyist contributions.

  • Is information available online or offline?
  • Who is covered?
    • Lobbyist
  • In what formats is the data made available?
    • Bulk/aggregate data: Yes
      • Format: XML, CSV
      • Years: 2008-2009
    • Individual data: Yes
      • Format: Web form
      • Years: 2008-2009
  • Can lobbyists file online: Yes
    • Are filings required on a regular basis:
      • If so, when: Quarterly, 20 days past the end of the quarter, or April 20, July 20, October 20 and January 20

Filings/Documents Available at the Clerk's Office but Not Online

Franked Materials (Mass Mailings)

Summary: Information on the contents of mass mailings sent by Members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

  • Is information available online or offline?
    • Online: No
    • Offline: Documents are available from the Legislative Resource Center, B-106 Cannon House Office Building, Washington DC, 20515-6612
    • Basic information about the Franking privilege from the Clerk's office: http://clerk.house.gov/public_disc/franked.html
  • Who is covered?
    • Member of Congress: Yes
    • Congressional staff: No
  • In what formats is the data made available? Print copies
    • Bulk data: No
    • Individual data: Yes
      • Format: Print copies
      • Years: 1996-present
  • Can Members file online: No
    • Is there a trigger: Members must submit a sample or a description of the contents of mass mailings to the House Commission on Congressional Mailing Standards and obtain the approval of the commission before the mass mailing can be sent.

Legal Expense Fund Disclosures

Summary: Reports on any legal expenses incurred by a candidate for or Member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

  • Is information available online or offline?
    • Online: No
    • Offline: Documents are available from the Legislative Resource Center, B-106 Cannon House Office Building, Washington DC, 20515-6612
    • General information from the Clerk: http://clerk.house.gov/public_disc/legal.html
  • Who is covered?
    • Member of Congress: Yes
    • Congressional staff: No
  • In what formats is the data made available?
    • Bulk data: No
    • Individual data: Yes
      • Format: Physical copies
      • Years: UNKNOWN
  • Can Members/Staff file online: No
    • Under what circumstances must they file?
      • Is there a trigger: Legal expense funds are established to assist Members when: "the legal expenses arise in connection with: the individual's candidacy for or election to federal office; the individual's official duties or position in Congress (including legal expenses incurred in connection with an amicus brief file in a Member's official capacity, a civil action by a Member challenging the validity of a law or federal regulation, or a matter before the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct); a criminal prosecution; or a civil matter bearing on the individual's reputation or fitness for office." —Memorandum to Members from the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, June 10, 1996
    • Are filings required on a regular basis: No

Statement of Recusal Arising from Negotiations for Future Employment for Members of Congress

Summary: Members of Congress and select Congressional staff must file a "statement of recusal" when an official matter comes before them that creates a conflict of interest regarding the private party with whom they are negotiating future employment.

  • Is information available online or offline?
  • Who is covered?
    • Member of Congress: Yes
    • Congressional Staff also file -- see separate entry for staff
  • In what formats is the data made available?
    • Bulk/aggregate data: No
    • Individual data: Yes
      • Format: Printed forms
      • Years: Kept for 6 years, then discarded
  • Can Members/Staff file online: No
    • Under what circumstances must they file?
      • Is there a trigger: With respect to official conduct, when a Member or staff has a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict as to matters that would affect an outside party with whom the Member is negotiating or has accepted employment.
    • Other information: If a Member files a recusal form, both the recusal and negotiation form must be filed with the Clerk of the House for public disclosure.

Filings/Documents That Are Not Publicly Available

Notification of Negotiations or Agreement for Future Employment

Summary: When Members of Congress or select staff negotiate for future (post-Congressional) employment, they are required to notify the House Ethics Committee that they have done so.

  • Is information available online or offline?
  • Who is covered?
    • Member of Congress: Yes
    • Congressional staffers: Yes
    • Do all staff file? No: "Very senior staff" (those staff making more than $126,975 annually for at least 60 days during the calendar year)
  • In what formats is the data made available?
    • Bulk/aggregate data: No
    • Individual data: Yes
      • Format: Printed forms
      • Years: Kept for 6 years, then discarded
  • Can Members/Staff file online: No
    • Under what circumstances must they file?
      • Is there a trigger: Form must be filed within 3 business days after the commencement of negotiations or the formalization of an agreement regarding future employment or compensation (unless the Member of Congress's successor has been named). The Negotiation form is not published unless recusal form is filed. If member or staff is only filing the negotiation form, it goes to the Ethics Committee and is not made public. Staff files are never publicly disclosed.

Statement of Recusal Arising from Negotiations for Future Employment for Congressional Staff

Summary: Members of Congress and select Congressional staff must file a "statement of recusal" when an official matter comes before them that creates a conflict of interest regarding the private party with whom they are negotiating future employment.

  • Is information available online or offline?
  • Who is covered?
    • Members of Congress also file -- see separate entry for MoCs
    • Congressional staffers: Yes
    • Do all staff file? No: "Very senior staff" (those staff making more than $126,975 annually for at least 60 days during the calendar year)
  • In what formats is the data made available?
    • Bulk/aggregate data: No
    • Individual data: Yes
      • Format: Printed forms
      • Years: Kept for 6 years, then discarded
  • Can Members/Staff file online: No
    • Under what circumstances must they file?
      • Is there a trigger: With respect to official conduct, when a Member or staff has a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict as to matters that would affect an outside party with whom the Member is negotiating or has accepted employment.
    • Other information: Staff files are never publicly disclosed.

Filings/Documents That Are Publicly Available, But Not From the Clerk

Statement of Disbursements of the House

Summary: The Statement of Disbursements of the House of Representatives is a quarterly publication that includes receipts and expenditures of appropriations and other funds by the U.S. House of Representatives

Federal Election Campaign Reports

Summary: Financial disclosure information on campaign expenses filed by House and Presidential campaigns, Parties and Political Action Committees, and Political Party Committees.

  • Who is covered?
    • Members of Congress
  • In what formats are the data made available?
    • Bulk/aggregate data? Partially
      • Format: Available in CSV and ASCII 28 delimited
      • Years covered: From 1999 to present
      • Problems with data: Can download campaign committee information, but not personal individual information
    • Individual data: Available online
      • Format: Web form
      • Years: 1999-present
  • Can members file online? Yes
    • Under what circumstances must they file?
      • Is there a trigger for filing? No
      • Are filings required on a regular basis? Yes
      • What is that basis? Quarterly
      • When? Jan. 31, April 15, July 15, Oct. 15

House Ethics Committee Reports

Summary: The House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct makes available past ethics reports of the committee

  • Who is covered?
    • Members of Congress and their staff
  • In what formats are the data made available?
    • Bulk/aggregate data? No
    • Individual data: Available online
      • Format: PDF files
      • Years: 1998-present
      • Problems with data: cannot find years before 1998
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