House Rule XXIII - Code of official conduct

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Changes to the rule in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

House Rules Committee Chair Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) released this summary of the rule changes at the beginning of the 110th Congress:

"Ending the K Street Project: Prohibits members from threatening official retaliation against private firms that hire employees who do not share the Member's partisan political affiliation." [1]
"Corporate Jet Ban: Prohibits Members from using official, personal, or campaign funds to pay for the use of privately owned airplanes. (Members will still be able to charter commercially available airplanes.)" [2]
"Earmark Reform: Prohibits trading earmarks for votes and requires Members to disclose their earmark requests and certify that they and their spouses have no personal financial interest in the request." [3]

Rule for the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

There is hereby established by and for the House the following code of conduct, to be known as the ‘‘Code of Official Conduct’’:

1. A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall conduct himself at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.

2. A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall adhere to the spirit and the letter of the Rules of the House and to the rules of duly constituted committees thereof.

3. A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House may not receive compensation and may not permit compensation to accrue to his beneficial interest from any source, the receipt of which would occur by virtueof influence improperly exerted from his position in Congress.

4. A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House may not accept gifts except as provided by clause 5 of rule XXV.

5. A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House may not accept an honorarium for a speech, a writing for publication, or other similar activity, except as otherwise provided under rule XXV.

6. A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner—

(a) shall keep his campaign funds separate from his personal funds;
(b) may not convert campaign funds to personal use in excess of an amount representing reimbursement for legitimate and verifiable campaign expenditures; and
(c) except as provided in clause 1(b) of rule XXIV, may not expend funds from his campaign account that are not attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes.

7. A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner shall treat as campaign contributions all proceeds from testimonial dinners or other fundraising events.

8. (a) A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, or officer of the House may not retain an employee who does not perform duties for the offices of the employing authority commensurate with the compensation he receives.

(b) In the case of a committee employee who works under the direct supervision of a member of the committee other than a chairman, the chairman may require that such member affirm in writing that the employee has complied with clause 8(a) (subject to clause 9 of rule X) as evidence of compliance by the chairman with this clause and with clause 9 of rule X.
(c)(1) Except as specified in subparagraph (2)—
(A) a Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner may not retain his spouse in a paid position; and
(B) an employee of the House may not accept compensation for work for a committee on which his spouse serves as a member.
(2) Subparagraph (1) shall not apply in the case of a spouse whose pertinent employment predates the One Hundred Seventh Congress.

9. A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House may not discharge and may not refuse to hire an individual, or otherwise discriminate against an individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of the race, color, religion, sex (including marital or parental status), disability, age, or national origin of such individual, but may take into consideration the domicile or political affiliation of such individual.

10. A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner who has been convicted by a court of record for the commission of a crime for which a sentence of two or more years’ imprisonment may be imposed should refrain from participation in the business of each committee of which he is a member, and a Member should refrain from voting on any question at a meeting of the House or of the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, unless or until judicial or executive proceedings result in reinstatement of the presumption of his innocence or until he is reelected to the House after the date of such conviction.

11. A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner may not authorize or otherwise allow an individual, group, or organization not under the direction and control of the House to use the words ‘‘Congress of the United States,’’ ‘‘House of Representatives,’’ or ‘‘Official Business,’’ or any combination of words thereof, on any letterhead or envelope.

12. (a) Except as provided in para-graph (b), an employee of the House who is required to file a report under rule XXVI may not participate personally and substantially as an employee of the House in a contact with an agency of the executive or judicial branches of Government with respect to non-legislative matters affecting any nongovernmental person in which the employee has a significant financial interest.

(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply if an employee first advises his employing authority of a significant financial interest described in paragraph (a) and obtains from his employing authority a written waiver stating that the participation of the employee in the activity described in paragraph (a) is necessary. A copy of each such waiver shall be filed with the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.

13. Before a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House may have access to classified information, the following oath (or affirmation) shall be executed: ‘‘I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will not disclose any classified information received in the course of my service with the House of Representatives, except as authorized by the House of Representatives or in accordance with its Rules.’’ Copies of the executed oath (or affirmation) shall be retained by the Clerk as part of the records of the House. The Clerk shall make signatures a matter of public record, causing the names of each Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner who has signed the oath during a week (if any) to be published in a portion of the Congressional Record designated for that purpose on the last legislative day of the week and making cumulative lists of such names available each day for public inspection in an appropriate office of the House.

14. A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner may not, with the intent to influence on the basis of partisan political affiliation an employment decision or employment practice of any private entity—

(a) take or withhold, or offer or threaten to take or withhold, an official act; or
(b) influence, or offer or threaten to influence, the official act of another.

15. (a) A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner may not use personal funds, official funds, or campaign funds for a flight on a non-governmental airplane that is not licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration to operate for compensation or hire.

(b) In this clause, the term ‘‘campaign funds’’ includes funds of any political committee under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, without regard to whether the committee is an authorized committee of the Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner involved under such Act.

16. A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner may not condition the inclusion of language to provide funding for a congressional earmark, a limited tax benefit, or a limited tariff benefit in any bill or joint resolution (or an accompanying report) or in any conference report on a bill or joint resolution (including an accompanying joint explanatory statement of managers) on any vote cast by another Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner. For purposes of this clause and clause 17, the terms ‘‘congressional earmark,’’ ‘‘limited tax benefit,’’ and ‘‘limited tariff benefit’’ shall have the meanings given them in clause 9 of rule XXI.

17. (a) A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner who requests a congressional earmark, a limited tax benefit, or a limited tariff benefit in any bill or joint resolution (or an accompanying report) or in any conference report on a bill or joint resolution (or an accompanying joint statement of managers) shall provide a written statement to the chairman and ranking minority member of the committee of jurisdiction, including—

(1) the name of the Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner;
(2) in the case of a congressional earmark, the name and address of the intended recipient or, if there is no specifically intended recipient, the intended location of the activity;
(3) in the case of a limited tax or tariff benefit, identification of the individual or entities reasonably anticipated to benefit, to the extent known to the Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner;
(4) the purpose of such congressional earmark or limited tax or tariff benefit; and
(5) a certification that the Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner or spouse has no financial interest in such congressional earmark or limited tax or tariff benefit.
(b) Each committee shall maintain the information transmitted under paragraph (a), and the written disclosures for any congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits included in any measure reported by the committee or conference report filed by the chairman of the committee or any subcommittee thereof shall be open for public inspection.

18. (a) In this Code of Official Con-duct, the term ‘‘officer or employee of the House’’ means an individual whose compensation is disbursed by the Chief Administrative Officer.

(b) An individual whose services are compensated by the House pursuant to a consultant contract shall be considered an employee of the House for purposes of clauses 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, and 13 of this rule. An individual whose services are compensated by the House pursuant to a consultant contract may not lobby the contracting committee or the members or staff of the contracting committee on any matter. Such an individual may lobby other Members, Delegates, or the Resident Commissioner or staff of the House on matters outside the jurisdiction of the contracting committee.

Rule for the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

There is hereby established by and for the House the following code of conduct, to be known as the "Code of Official Conduct":

1. A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall conduct himself at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.

2. A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall adhere to the spirit and the letter of the Rules of the House and to the rules of duly constituted committees thereof.

3. A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House may not receive compensation and may not permit compensation to accrue to his beneficial interest from any source, the receipt of which would occur by virtue of influence improperly exerted from his position in Congress.

4. A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House may not accept gifts except as provided by clause 5 of rule XXV.

5. A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House may not accept an honorarium for a speech, a writing for publication, or other similar activity, except as otherwise provided under rule XXV.

6. A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner_

(a) shall keep his campaign funds separate from his personal funds;
(b) may not convert campaign funds to personal use in excess of an amount representing reimbursement for legitimate and verifiable campaign expenditures; and
(c) except as provided in clause 1(b) of rule XXIV, may not expend funds from his campaign account that are not attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes.

7. A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner shall treat as campaign contributions all proceeds from testimonial dinners or other fund-raising events.

8. (a) A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, or officer of the House may not retain an employee who does not perform duties for the offices of the employing authority commensurate with the compensation he receives.

(b) In the case of a committee employee who works under the direct supervision of a member of the committee other than a chairman, the chairman may require that such member affirm in writing that the employee has complied with clause 8(a) (subject to clause 9 of rule X) as evidence of compliance by the chairman with this clause and with clause 9 of rule X.
(c)(1) Except as specified in subparagraph (2)_
(A) a Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner may not retain his spouse in a paid position; and
(B) an employee of the House may not accept compensation for work for a committee on which his spouse serves as a member.
(2) Subparagraph (1) shall not apply in the case of a spouse whose pertinent employment predates the One Hundred Seventh Congress.

9. A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House may not discharge and may not refuse to hire an individual, or otherwise discriminate against an individual with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of the race, color, religion, sex (including marital or parental status), disability, age, or national origin of such individual, but may take into consideration the domicile or political affiliation of such individual.

10. A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner who has been convicted by a court of record for the commission of a crime for which a sentence of two or more years' imprisonment may be imposed should refrain from participation in the business of each committee of which he is a member, and a Member should refrain from voting on any question at a meeting of the House or of the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, unless or until judicial or executive proceedings result in reinstatement of the presumption of his innocence or until he is reelected to the House after the date of such conviction.

11. A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner may not authorize or otherwise allow an individual, group, or organization not under the direction and control of the House to use the words ``Congress of the United States, ``House of Representatives, or ``Official Business, or any combination of words thereof, on any letterhead or envelope.

12. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), an employee of the House who is required to file a report under rule XXVI may not participate personally and substantially as an employee of the House in a contact with an agency of the executive or judicial branches of Government with respect to nonlegislative matters affecting any nongovernmental person in which the employee has a significant financial interest.

(b) Paragraph (a) does not apply if an employee first advises his employing authority of a significant financial interest described in paragraph (a) and obtains from his employing authority a written waiver stating that the participation of the employee in the activity described in paragraph (a) is necessary. A copy of each such waiver shall be filed with the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.

13. Before a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House may have access to classified information, the following oath (or affirmation) shall be executed:

``I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will not disclose any classified information received in the course of my service with the House of Representatives, except as authorized by the House of Representatives or in accordance with its Rules.

Copies of the executed oath (or affirmation) shall be retained by the Clerk as part of the records of the House. The Clerk shall make signatures a matter of public record, causing the names of each Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner who has signed the oath during a week (if any) to be published in a portion of the Congressional Record designated for that purpose on the last legislative day of the week and making cumulative lists of such names available each day for public inspection in an appropriate office of the House.

14. (a) In this Code of Official Conduct, the term ``officer or employee of the House means an individual whose compensation is disbursed by the Chief Administrative Officer.

(b) An individual whose services are compensated by the House pursuant to a consultant contract shall be considered an employee of the House for purposes of clauses 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, and 13 of this rule. An individual whose services are compensated by the House pursuant to a consultant contract may not lobby the contracting committee or the members or staff of the contracting committee on any matter. Such an individual may lobby other Members, Delegates, or the Resident Commissioner or staff of the House on matters outside the jurisdiction of the contracting committee.

Articles and Resources

References

Note: Updates to the rules for the 110th Congress were obtained by Congresspedia staff from House Rules Committee staff. The full source is available upon request.

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