[Coral-List] U.S. Code on Lobbying

Jim Hendee Jim.Hendee at noaa.gov
Sun Apr 17 19:41:57 EDT 2005

Some of you may have in mind a similar set of questions by a disgruntled 
coral-list subscriber:

"Who are you checking with to make these calls?  How are you or whomever
defining lobbying?  Have you checked with NOAA Legal regarding the
fundamental difference between lobbying legislation/legislators and
providing comment on regulations to agencies?  Have you checked with the
IRS? With anybody?  Not cool at all.  And repressive as hell."


Of course I do not check with anybody on every questionable submission 
that comes through coral-list; it's time-consuming enough as it is.  
However, I try to use my best judgement.  Below is the actual relevant 
U.S. Code, in case you are interested.  I'm sorry if you don't always  
agree with my judgement on these matters, but I have to call them on the 
conservative side, if  there is any question in my mind.  I don't really 
like the idea of being fined, going to jail, or losing  my job (see 
below), especially since I've already been warned against this by all of 
my supervisors  because of previous bad judgements on my part.

TITLE 18. United States Code

Chapter 93-Public Officers and Employees.

Sec. 1913.  Lobbying with appropriated moneys.

    No part of the money appropriated by any enactment of Congress 
shall, in the absence of express authorization by Congress, be used 
directly or indirectly to pay for any personal service, advertisement, 
telegram, telephone, letter, printed or written matter, or other device, 
intended or designed to influence in any manner a Member of Congress, to 
favor or oppose by vote or otherwise, any legislation or appropriation 
by Congress, whether before or after the introduction of any bill or 
resolution proposing such legislation or appropriation; but this shall 
not prevent officers of employees of the United States or of its 
departments or agencies from communicating to Members of Congress on the 
request of any Member or to Congress, through the proper official 
channels, requests for legislation or appropriations which they deem 
necessary for the efficient conduct of the public business.  (June 25, 
1948, c. 645, 62 Stat. 792.)

    Whoever, being an officer or employee of the United States or of any 
department of agency thereof, violates or attempts to violate this 
section, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one 
year, or both; and after notice and hearing by the superior office 
vested with the power of removing him, shall be removed from office or 
employment.  (as amended Sept. 13, 1994, Pub.L. 103-322, Title 
XXXIII,  330016(1)(G), 108 Stat. 2147, (Crime Bill of 1994), for the 
purpose of changing fine from $500 to $1,000).

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