Last week, the House passed H.R. 5751, the Lobbying Disclosure Enhancement Act. The bill was sent to the Senate for consideration last week.
H.R. 5761 amends the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 by establishing a Lobbying Disclosure Enforcement Task Force that will have the responsibility for investigating and prosecuting each case referred to the Attorney General. The bill also requires the Task Force to collect and disseminate regarding the enforcement of the federal lobbying disclosure laws.
This bill is a break from past practice by removing the jurisdiction for enforcing the federal lobbying disclosure laws from the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia and placing it in the hands of the Attorney General. In addition, the bill calls for the public disclosure of the identity of lobbying firms and individual lobbyists who are the subject of enforcement actions.
The Hill reports that the legislation’s fate in the Senate is unclear and that the House intended to send a message to lobbyists that Congress is interested in cracking down on lobbyists who fail to comply with disclosure requirements.