Lobbyists League Wants Tougher Rules

The American League of Lobbyists has proposed new rules expanding reporting requirements.

“If put in place, these recommendations will increase the transparency and accountability of those engaged in public policy advocacy,” League President Howard Marlowe said in a prepared statement.

“I fully expect that some will say it contains provisions that go too far, while others will say it doesn’t do enough. What these recommendations represent, however, is a bold step that demonstrates the commitment of the American League of Lobbyists to greater transparency and accountability.”

The league’s board on Monday approved recommendations that would require individuals to register when they spend 10 percent of their time on paid lobbying activities. Current law sets a threshold of 20 percent.

The proposals also shorten registration periods from the current 45 days to 20 days, and end reporting exemptions for religious groups and local and state governments.

Enforcement would be transferred from the U.S. Attorney’s Office to the Department of Justice unit now enforcing the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Lobbyists would also be required to be trained every five years, taking a course in ethics and reporting compliance.

The league plans to take the proposals to Congress and urge hearings, but it acknowledged that new law is unlikely to be passed this year.

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