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Executive Branch Lobbying Rules October 22, 2009

Daniel Schuman Policy Counsel

dschuman@sunlightfoundation.com Twitter: @danielschuman


Executive Branch Lobbying Timeline Stimulus (Main St.)

TARP (Wall St.)

• American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Feb. 16)

• Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (October 3, 2008)

• Presidential Memorandum (Mar. 20)

• Treasury Press Release (Jan. 27)

• OMB Interim Guidance (Apr. 17)

• SIGTARP Report (August 6)

• OMB Updated Guidance (July 24)

• Treasury Guidance (Sep. 10)


Executive Branch Lobbying Rules • Pres. Obama’s transparency pledge • Implemented by executive fiat • TARP and stimulus are temporary • Lobbying disclosure rules are experimental


Executive Branch Lobbying Disclosure • Federal officials must disclose certain contacts • Whether oral or in written form • Within 3 days • For publication on agency website


Executive Branch Lobbying Disclosure Rules Are Based Upon: • Who is communicating • Whether the communication is written or oral • The subject matter of the communication • When the communication takes place


Stimulus Lobbying Rules: 2 Phases 1. Interim Lobbying Rules (Apr. 17) – – –

Limited to federally registered lobbyists Broader duration ban on oral communications Ignores written policy communications

2. Updated Lobbying Rules (July 24) – – –

Expanded to all persons who lobby Narrower duration ban on oral communications Includes written policy communications


Interim Stimulus Lobbying Rules

These rules apply only to registered lobbyists


Interim Stimulus Lobbying Rules Specific Funds Oral Communications Ban

(Lobbyists only)


Updated Stimulus Lobbying Rules: When to Disclose Communications CONTENT

HOW

PERIOD

PERM’D

RECORD

POSTED

Logistical Questions or Widely Attended Gathering

Oral or Written

Any time

Yes

No

--

Policy Matters

Oral or Written

Any time

Yes

Yes

Yes, within 3 days

Specific Funds

Oral or Written

Any time but decisional period

Yes

Yes, unless @ widely attended meeting

Yes, within 3 days

Specific Funds

Oral

Decisional period

No (unless initiated by Federal Exec. Official)

--

--

(Applies to all people, not just lobbyists)


Updated Stimulus Lobbying Rules Discussion Oral communications ban duration narrowed:

(Applies to all people, not just lobbyists)


Updated Stimulus Lobbying Rules Discussion Exceptions to oral communications ban: – Chief executives of state, local, or tribal gov’ts – State legislature presiding officers/maj. leaders – Federal government employees (including Members of Congress)


TARP Lobbying Rules

“Oral or written communications with any outside person or entities regarding EESA funding determinations�


TARP Lobbying Rules


TARP Lobbying Rules: Oral Communications Ban

Applies to all persons (with a few exceptions)


TARP Lobbying Rules: Oral Communications Ban Exceptions • Communications initiated by Treasury officials • Communications between a federal executive agency official and a Treasury employee • (Logistical information) • (Widely attended gathering)


TARP Lobbying Rules

(It’s unclear what pending means)


TARP Lobbying Rules: Written Communications Reporting • New class of people: “EESA applicants or their representative”– people asking for money • Rules don’t include: – Business partners – Foreign lobbyists (FARA) – Others?


TARP Lobbying Rules: Practical Effects Only 2 communications have been disclosed online since the TARP lobbying rules went into effect 1 month ago. Both disclosures were late. – Are there other communications waiting to be disclosed? – Are the rules sufficiently broad to provide full lobbying transparency?


Open Questions • Why can Members of Congress intervene with stimulus lobbying but not TARP lobbying? • What is the appropriate duration for the ban on oral communications? • What is the best way to make the disclosures available to the public? In an online database? • Are the rules sufficiently clear for staff to follow?

Profile for Ellen Miller

Presentation on Executive Branch Lobbying Rules  

A powerpoint slide presentation on the executive branch lobbying rules, focusing on TARP and the Economic Stimulus. This presentation was ma...

Presentation on Executive Branch Lobbying Rules  

A powerpoint slide presentation on the executive branch lobbying rules, focusing on TARP and the Economic Stimulus. This presentation was ma...

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