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May 4, 2006

Pryce: Lobby Accountability Act Will Increase
Transparency While Protecting First Amendment Right

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Deborah Pryce (R-Upper Arlington) today said H.R. 4975, the Lobby Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, will provide increased transparency and accountability in the legislative process.

“The American people have entrusted us with the tremendous responsibility of governing this nation, and it is our duty to honor that trust by fulfilling our responsibilities with the utmost honor and integrity,” Pryce said.  “This bill will help us do just that by holding Congress, congressional staff, and lobbyists to the highest standards.

“The Lobby Accountability and Transparency Act builds on earlier Republican-led reforms and promotes accountability and increased oversight of congressional activities. The bill will increase transparency in the legislative process while ensuring that Americans retain their important First Amendment right to petition the government.”

Among other things, the Lobby Accountability and Transparency Act will do the following:

  • Strengthen lobbyist disclosure requirements by increasing the amount and type of information that must be disclosed, making the disclosure more frequent, and enhancing penalties for failing to disclose the necessary information;
  • Strengthen oversight by empowering the House Inspector General to conduct random audits of lobbying reports and refer lobbyist violations to the Justice Department for prosecution; and
  • Reform the earmarking process to bring greater disclosure, transparency, and accountability to the way Congress does business.