The Catholic University of America

Summary of Federal Laws

Miscellaneous Laws Affecting Universities

Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 as amended by the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007

2 U.S.C. § 1601 et seq.

Requires institutions to register if they employ (as a salaried employee) individuals who make at least two lobbying contacts each six months and devote 20% of their time to lobbying activities and incur expenses for lobbying of $20,000 or more in a six-month period. Permits tax exempt charitable organizations required to report lobbying expenses by the IRC to report, under this law, only good faith estimates of such expenses in order to meet reporting requirements. See section 1610.

The Honest Leadership and Open Govt. Act was signed into law on Sept. 14, 2007 and made a number of changes to the Lobbying Disclosure Act, including a ban on most gifts from an independent college or university that employs or engages a lobbyist. The gift restrictions apply effective Sept. 14, 2007, and the travel and disclosure rules will apply after the issuance of regulations. For more on this new law, see the ACE memo titled What do the New Rules on Lobbying Congress Signify for Colleges and Universities?

Resources

In INFO 2013-0002, (dated Jan. 28, 2013) the IRS describes the general rules that are applicable when a section 501(c)(3) organizations engages in lobbying activities. There is a brief discussion of the substantial part test or the expenditure test.


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U.S. House of Representatives Rule XXV: Limitations on Outside Earned Income and Acceptance of Gifts

U.S. Senate Gift Rule XXXV

Ethics in Government Act of 1978

 

updated 3/12/13 CCR

updated 4/17/13 mlo to add IRS letter on what constitutes lobbying