Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007/Amendments

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A large number of amendments were offered to the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007.

Contents

Amendments that passed

Senate amendment 1 sponsored by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) denies retirement benefits to individuals convicted of certain crimes.


Senate amendment 3, sponsored by Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): A substitute amendment that contained all the original provisions in S.1 with additional provisions that would:

  • Earmarks: Address a tactic used by former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.) whereby an Earmark is written so restrictively that only one organization or company fits the criteria; expand the definition of tax earmarks and tariff earmarks to more closely regulate them; and require Members to certify that they have no financial interest in their earmarks.
  • Conference committees: Prevent a conference report from being altered after the Senate conferees had signed off on it; states that conference committee meetings should be held in public; states that all members of the conference committee should be able to participate; and adds a requirement that Congressional Budget Office cost estimates be added to conference reports.
  • Gifts: Require that gifts of event tickets be reported at their full value.
  • Revolving door: Prohibit members of Congress from negotiating employment involving lobbying while they are in Congress; require senior congressional staff to notify the Senate Ethics Committee within three days of negotiating for future employment.
  • Lobbying disclosure: Require lobbyists to report quarterly any contributions to presidential library and inauguration funds; require lobbyists to certify quarterly that they have not violated gift and travel rules; add new criminal penalties for violations of disclosure laws as part of a broader conspiracy.[1](See Jack Abramoff)
Senate record vote:
Motion to accept amendment 3

January 09, 2007
Passed, unanimous consent, view details
Dem: unanimously in favor, GOP: unanimously in favor, Ind: unanimously in favor

Senate amendment 4 sponsored by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) requires members of Congress to pay full charter price even when flying on a private plane. Extends travel and gift bans to most companies and organizations that employ or retain lobbyists.


Senate amendment 7, sponsored by Sen David Vitter (R-La.): Increases the penalty for government officials who falsify their personal financial disclosure forms from $10,000 to $50,000 and establishes a maximum one year prison sentence.[2][3][4](See Randy "Duke" Cunningham)


Senate amendment 9 sponsored by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) prohibits senators from having any official contact with lobbyists spouses. The provision contains a loophole for spouses who began lobbying 1 year prior to the election of the Senator.[5]

  • This amendment would effect:
    • Lucy Calautti, wife of Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.)
  • This amendment would not effect:
Senate record vote:
Motion to accept amendment 9

January 18, 2007
Passed, unanimous consent, view details
Dem: unanimously in favor, GOP: unanimously in favor, Ind: unanimously in favor

Senate amendment 10 sponsored by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) increases from $100,000 to $200,000 the penalties for failing to comply with lobbyist disclosure laws.



Senate amendment 11. sponsored by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) requires earmarks to be disclosed 48 hours before a vote is made on a bill. Also requires reporing It also provides that these disclosures (including names of the beneficiaries) be available online to the public.[6]


Same for all scorecards:

Scored vote

Scorecard: American Conservative Union 2007 Senate Scorecard

Org. position: Aye

Description:

"The Senate killed an amendment that would have required the disclosure of the names of Senators requesting special interest earmark spending and expanded the definition of earmarks to include federally-funded non-federal projects. ACU favors greater transparency in “earmarked” spending and favored this amendment"

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.acuratings.org/)

Senate amendment 15 sponsored by Sen. Ken Salazar (R-Colo.) require Senate committees and subcommittees to make available by the Internet a video recording, audio recording, or transcript of any meeting not later than 14 business days after the meeting occurs.

January 10, 2007
Passed, by unanimous consent, view details
Dem: unanimous consent in favor, GOP: unanimous consent in favor, Ind: unanimous consent in favor

Senate amendment 19 sponsored by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) adds provisions to amendment 4 that would require any member, officer or employee to report if they fly on a private aircraft, within 60 days.

  • Motion Accepted

Senate amendment 20 sponsored by Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) strike section 220 out of the bill. Section 220 would require organizations involved in grassroots organizing and spending more than $25,000 quarterly to report their lobbying activities.


Same for all scorecards:

Scored vote

Scorecard: American Conservative Union 2007 Senate Scorecard

Org. position: Aye

Description:

"The Senate adopted an amendment protecting grassroots lobbying organizations from having to reveal the names of their contributors. ACU favored this amendment."

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.acuratings.org/)

Scored vote

Scorecard: Family Research Council 2007-2008 Senate Scorecard

Org. position: Aye

Description:

"Senators Robert Bennett (R-UT) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) offered an amendment (No. 20) to this year’s Lobby Reform Act (S.1). The amendment removed provisions in S.1 that would have regulated so-called grassroots lobbying activities."

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.frcaction.org/get.cfm?i=VR08I01)


Senate amendment 31 sponsored by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis) creates penalties for Members of Congress who engage in lobbying activity before the 2-year cooling off period.

January 18, 2007
Passed, by unanimous consent, view details
Dem: unanimous consent in favor, GOP: unanimous consent in favor, Ind: unanimous consent in favor

Senate amendment 33 sponsored by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis) Prohibits former Members of Congress who engage in lobbying from using their "former member privileges".

January 18, 2007
Passed, by unanimous consent, view details
Dem: unanimous consent in favor, GOP: unanimous consent in favor, Ind: unanimous consent in favor

Senate amendment 38 sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) allows Members, officers and employees to attend events paid for by "sponsors" so long as the value does not exceed $50.

January 18, 2007
Passed, by voice vote, view details
Dem: voice vote in favor, GOP: voice vote in favor, Ind: voice vote in favor

Senate amendment 39 sponsored by Sen. Norm Coleman (D-Minn.) contains provisions for the Clerk of House of Representatives to create a public website to disclose all travel subject to the Senate gift rules

January 18, 2007
Passed, unanimous consent, view details
Dem: unanimous consent in favor, GOP: unanimous consent in favor, Ind: unanimous consent in favor

Senate amendment 41 sponsored by Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) requires lobbyists to disclose who they raise money from and who they raise money for, and to disclose the amounts, quarterly.

January 18, 2007
Passed, unanimous consent, view details
Dem: unanimous consent in favor, GOP: unanimous consent in favor, Ind: unanimous consent in favor

Senate amendment 44 sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) to strengthen earmark reform.

January 16, 2007
Passed, 98-0, view details
Dem: 47-2 in favor, GOP: 49-0 in favor, Ind: 2 in favor


Senate amendment 51 sponsored by Sen. Tom Coburn (D-Okla.) would ban Members from submitting any earmarks that would financially benefit either them or any immediate member of their family.

January 22, 2007
Passed, unanimous consent, view details
Dem: unanimous consent in favor, GOP: unanimous consent in favor, Ind: unanimous consent in favor

Senate amendment 57 sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT.) the Commission to Strengthen Confidence in Congress to issue a report on campaign finance before and after certain laws were passed.

January 18, 2007
Passed, unanimous consent, view details
Dem: unanimous consent in favor, GOP: unanimous consent in favor, Ind: unanimous consent in favor

Senate amendment 65 sponsored by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) bans lobbyists and all entities that employ lobbyists from throwing "lavish" parties honoring Congressmen at party conventions.


Senate amendment 70 sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) prohibits earmarks from being included in the classified portions of a bill unless a description of the earmark including a: general program description, funding level, and the name of the sponsor.

January 16, 2007
Passed, unanimous consent, view details
Dem: unanimous consent in favor, GOP: unanimous consent in favor, Ind: unanimous consent in favor

Senate amendment 77 sponsored by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) requires amendments and motions (with instructions) to be presented to the desks of Senate Majority and Minority leaders before debate

January 16, 2007
Passed, unanimous consent, view details
Dem: unanimous consent in favor, GOP: unanimous consent in favor, Ind: unanimous consent in favor

Senate amendment 81 sponsored by Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) Permits travel sponsored by "pre-approved 501(3)c organizations.


Same for all scorecards:

Scored vote

Scorecard: Americans for Democratic Action 2007 Senate Scorecard

Org. position: Nay

Description:

"Bennett (R-UT) amendment to Reid (D-NV) ethics reform legislation. Reid’s legislation would overhaul Congressional lobbying and ethics rules for Senators and their staffs, restrict use of more broadly defined earmarks, prohibit Senators and staff from accepting gifts and free meals, extend the period before former Senators can become lobbyists, prohibit lobbyist-funded travel, and require trips funded by private entities to be vetted by the Select Ethics Committee. The Bennett amendment, permitting the travel of Members of Congress hosted by 501 (c) (3), or “grass-roots lobbying” organizations, was adopted 51-46. Jan. 17, 2007."

(Original scorecard available at: http://www.adaction.org/pages/publications/voting-records.php)


Senate amendment 97 sponsored by John Ensign (R-Nev)

Senate amendment 99 sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)

Amendments that were proposed but failed

Senate amendment 5 Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) attempted to amend S.1. placing Indian Tribes under the same regulations as corporations and unions; the motion was tabled.

Senate record vote:
Motion to table Amendment 5

January 10, 2007
Amendment Tabled, 56-40, view details
Dem: 46-1 in favor, GOP: 8-39 in favor, Ind: 2 in favor

Senate amendment 6 Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) introduced to "prohibit authorized committees and leadership PACs from employing the spouse or immediate family members of any candidate or Federal office holder connected to the committee."[7] The amendment was tabled by a bi-partisan vote in the Senate 54 - 41. As the amendment was tabled Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) added "I know of no problems related to this issue in this house."[8]

Senate record vote:
Motion to Table Amendment 5

January 10, 2007
Amendment Tabled, 54-41, view details
Dem: 35-11 in favor, GOP: 17-30 in favor, Ind: 2 in favor

Senate amendment 30 sponsored by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), Sen. Susan M. Collins (R-Maine), Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), Sen. John McCain (R-Az.), Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass) for the creation of an office of public integrity.

Senate record vote:
Amendment 30

January 18, 2007
Failed, 27-71, view details
Dem: 21-27 in favor, GOP: 5-43 in favor, Ind: 0-1 in favor

Articles and Resources

See also

References

  1. The Reid McConnell Substitute Amendment to S.1 Clean Up Washington, January 9, 2007.
  2. THOMAS: S.AMDT.1, Library of Congress.
  3. Ethics in Government Act, Title I U.S. House of Representatives.
  4. S.1, U.S. Senate
  5. Tory Newmyer, "Lobby Loophole Clears Senate Spouses," Roll Call, January 24, 2007.
  6. " Senate votes to end secret 'earmarks,'" CNN, January 17, 2007.
  7. THOMAS: S.AMDT.6, Library of Congress.
  8. Tory Newmyer, "Campaigns Still a Family Affair," Roll Call, January 11, 2007.

External resources

External articles

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