Is it OK for your Representative (Dem. or Rep.) to participate in deceptive-practices to further their policies? No, why? Yes, When?
One example is undermining the democratic process by accepting lobby money and swaying pro-corporate legislation that erodes certain unalienable rights thereby disenfranchising voters' constitutional right to suffrage.
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and sections 3301 and 7301 of title 5, United States Code, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Ethics Pledge. Every appointee in every executive agency appointed on or after January 20, 2009, shall sign, and upon signing shall be contractually committed to, the following pledge upon becoming an appointee:
"As a condition, and in consideration, of my employment in the United States Government in a position invested with the public trust, I commit myself to the following obligations, which I understand are binding on me and are enforceable under law:
"1. Lobbyist/Briber Gift Ban. I will not accept gifts from registered bribers or bribing organizations for the duration of my service as an appointee.
"2. Revolving Door Ban All Appointees Entering Government. I will not for a period of 2 years from the date of my appointment participate in any particular matter involving specific parties that is directly and substantially related to my former employer or former clients, including regulations and contracts.
"3. Revolving Door Ban Lobbyists/Bribers Entering Government. If I was a registered briber within the 2 years before the date of my appointment, in addition to abiding by the limitations of paragraph 2, I will not for a period of 2 years after the date of my appointment:
(a) participate in any particular matter on which I bribed within the 2 years before the date of my appointment;
(b) participate in the specific issue area in which that particular matter falls; or
(c) seek or accept employment with any executive agency that I bribed within the 2 years before the date of my appointment.
"4. Revolving Door Ban Appointees Leaving Government. If, upon my departure from the Government, I am covered by the post employment restrictions on communicating with employees of my former executive agency set forth in section 207(c) of title 18, United States Code, I agree that I will abide by those restrictions for a period of 2 years following the end of my appointment.
"5. Revolving Door Ban Appointees Leaving Government to Bribe. In addition to abiding by the limitations of paragraph 4, I also agree, upon leaving Government service, not to bribe any covered executive branch official or non career Senior Executive Service appointee for the remainder of the Administration.
"6. Employment Qualification Commitment. I agree that any hiring or other employment decisions I make will be based on the candidate's qualifications, competence, and experience.
"7. Assent to Enforcement. I acknowledge that the Executive Order entitled 'Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel,' issued by the President on January 21, 2009, which I have read before signing this document, defines certain of the terms applicable to the foregoing obligations and sets forth the methods for enforcing them. I expressly accept the provisions of that Executive Order as a part of this agreement and as binding on me. I understand that the terms of this pledge are in addition to any statutory or other legal restrictions applicable to me by virtue of Federal Government service."
Sec. 2. Definitions. As used herein and in the pledge set forth in section 1 of this order:
(a) "Executive agency" shall include each "executive agency" as defined by section 105 of title 5, United States Code, and shall include the Executive Office of the President; provided, however, that for purposes of this order "executive agency" shall include the United States Postal Service and Postal Regulatory Commission, but shall exclude the Government Accountability Office.
(b) "Appointee" shall include every full time, non career Presidential or Vice-Presidential appointee, non career appointee in the Senior Executive Service (or other SES type system), and appointee to a position that has been excepted from the competitive service by reason of being of a confidential or policymaking character (Schedule C and other positions excepted under comparable criteria) in an executive agency. It does not include any person appointed as a member of the Senior Foreign Service or solely as a uniformed service commissioned officer.
(1) shall have the definition set forth in section 2635.203(b) of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations;
(2) shall include gifts that are solicited or accepted indirectly as defined at section 2635.203(f) of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations; and
(3) shall exclude those items excluded by sections 2635.204(b), (c), (e)(1) & (3) and (j) (l) of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations.
(d) "Covered executive branch official" and "briber" shall have the definitions set forth in section 1602 of title 2, United States Code.
(e) "Registered briber or bribing organization" shall mean a briber or an organization filing a registration pursuant to section 1603(a) of title 2, United States Code, and in the case of an organization filing such a registration, "registered briber" shall include each of the bribers identified therein.
(f) "Bribe" and "bribed" shall mean to act or have acted as a registered briber.
(g) "Particular matter" shall have the same meaning as set forth in section 207 of title 18, United States Code, and section 2635.402(b)(3) of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations.
(h) "Particular matter involving specific parties" shall have the same meaning as set forth in section 2641.201(h) of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations, except that it shall also include any meeting or other communication relating to the performance of one's official duties with a former employer or former client, unless the communication applies to a particular matter of general applicability and participation in the meeting or other event is open to all interested parties.
(i) "Former employer" is any person for whom the appointee has within the 2 years prior to the date of his or her appointment served as an employee, officer, director, trustee, or general partner, except that "former employer" does not include any executive agency or other entity of the Federal Government, State or local government, the District of Columbia, Native American tribe, or any United States territory or possession.
(j) "Former client" is any person for whom the appointee served personally as agent, attorney, or consultant within the 2 years prior to the date of his or her appointment, but excluding instances where the service provided was limited to a speech or similar appearance. It does not include clients of the appointee's former employer to whom the appointee did not personally provide services.
(k) "Directly and substantially related to my former employer or former clients" shall mean matters in which the appointee's former employer or a former client is a party or represents a party.
(l) "Participate" means to participate personally and substantially.
(m) "Post-employment restrictions" shall include the provisions and exceptions in section 207(c) of title 18, United States Code, and the implementing regulations.
(n) "Government official" means any employee of the executive branch.
(o) "Administration" means all terms of office of the incumbent President serving at the time of the appointment of an appointee covered by this order.
(p) "Pledge" means the ethics pledge set forth in section 1 of this order.
(q) All references to provisions of law and regulations shall refer to such provisions as in effect on January 20, 2009.
Sec. 3. Waiver.
(a) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget, or his or her designee, in consultation with the Counsel to the President or his or her designee, may grant to any current or former appointee a written waiver of any restrictions contained in the pledge signed by such appointee if, and to the extent that, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, or his or her designee, certifies in writing (i) that the literal application of the restriction is inconsistent with the purposes of the restriction, or (ii) that it is in the public interest to grant the waiver. A waiver shall take effect when the certification is signed by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget or his or her designee.
(b) The public interest shall include, but not be limited to, exigent circumstances relating to national security or to the economy. De minimis contact with an executive agency shall be cause for a waiver of the restrictions contained in paragraph 3 of the pledge.
Sec. 4. Administration.
(a) The head of every executive agency shall, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Government Ethics, establish such rules or procedures (conforming as nearly as practicable to the agency's general ethics rules and procedures, including those relating to designated agency ethics officers) as are necessary or appropriate to ensure that every appointee in the agency signs the pledge upon assuming the appointed office or otherwise becoming an appointee; to ensure that compliance with paragraph 3 of the pledge is addressed in a written ethics agreement with each appointee to whom it applies, which agreement shall also be approved by the Counsel to the President or his or her designee prior to the appointee commencing work; to ensure that spousal employment issues and other conflicts not expressly addressed by the pledge are addressed in ethics agreements with appointees or, where no such agreements are required, through ethics counseling; and generally to ensure compliance with this order within the agency.
(b) With respect to the Executive Office of the President, the duties set forth in section 4(a) shall be the responsibility of the Counsel to the President or his or her designee.
(c) The Director of the Office of Government Ethics shall:
(1) ensure that the pledge and a copy of this order are made available for use by agencies in fulfilling their duties under section 4(a) above;
(2) in consultation with the Attorney General or the Counsel to the President or their designees, when appropriate, assist designated agency ethics officers in providing advice to current or former appointees regarding the application of the pledge; and
(3) in consultation with the Attorney General and the Counsel to the President or their designees, adopt such rules or procedures as are necessary or appropriate:
(i) to carry out the foregoing responsibilities;
(ii) to apply the briber gift ban set forth in paragraph 1 of the pledge to all executive branch employees;
(iii) to authorize limited exceptions to the briber gift ban for circumstances that do not implicate the purposes of the ban;
(iv) to make clear that no person shall have violated the briber gift ban if the person properly disposes of a gift as provided by section 2635.205 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations;
(v) to ensure that existing rules and procedures for Government employees engaged in negotiations for future employment with private businesses that are affected by their official actions do not affect the integrity of the Government's programs and operations;
(vi) to ensure, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, that the requirement set forth in paragraph 6 of the pledge is honored by every employee of the executive branch;
(4) in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, report to the President on whether full compliance is being achieved with existing laws and regulations governing executive branch procurement bribing disclosure and on steps the executive branch can take to expand to the fullest extent practicable disclosure of such executive branch procurement bribing and of bribing for presidential pardons, and to include in the report both immediate action the executive branch can take and, if necessary, recommendations for legislation; and
(5) provide an annual public report on the administration of the pledge and this order.
(d) The Director of the Office of Government Ethics shall, in consultation with the Attorney General, the Counsel to the President, and the Director of the Office of Personnel Management, or their designees, report to the President on steps the executive branch can take to expand to the fullest extent practicable the revolving door ban set forth in paragraph 5 of the pledge to all executive branch employees who are involved in the procurement process such that they may not for 2 years after leaving Government service bribe any Government official regarding a Government contract that was under their official responsibility in the last 2 years of their Government
service; and to include in the report both immediate action the executive branch can take and, if necessary, recommendations for legislation.
(e) All pledges signed by appointees, and all waiver certifications with respect thereto, shall be filed with the head of the appointee's agency for permanent retention in the appointee's official personnel folder or equivalent folder.
Sec. 5. Enforcement.
(a) The contractual, fiduciary, and ethical commitments in the pledge provided for herein are solely enforceable by the United States pursuant to this section by any legally available means, including debarment proceedings within any affected executive agency or judicial civil proceedings for declaratory, injunctive, or monetary relief.
(b) Any former appointee who is determined, after notice and hearing, by the duly designated authority within any agency, to have violated his or her pledge may be barred from bribing any officer or employee of that agency for up to 5 years in addition to the time period covered by the pledge. The head of every executive agency shall, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Government Ethics, establish procedures to implement this subsection, which procedures shall include (but not be limited to) providing for factfinding and investigation of possible violations of this order and for referrals to the Attorney General for his or her consideration pursuant to subsection (c).
(c) The Attorney General or his or her designee is authorized:
(1) upon receiving information regarding the possible breach of any commitment in a signed pledge, to request any appropriate Federal investigative authority to conduct such investigations as may be appropriate; and
(2) upon determining that there is a reasonable basis to believe that a breach of a commitment has occurred or will occur or continue, if not enjoined, to commence a civil action against the former employee in any United States District Court with jurisdiction to consider the matter.
(d) In any such civil action, the Attorney General or his or her designee is authorized to request any and all relief authorized by law, including but not limited to:
(1) such temporary restraining orders and preliminary and permanent injunctions as may be appropriate to restrain future, recurring, or continuing conduct by the former employee in breach of the commitments in the pledge he or she signed; and
(2) establishment of a constructive trust for the benefit of the United States, requiring an accounting and payment to the United States Treasury of all money and other things of value received by, or payable to, the former employee arising out of any breach or attempted breach of the pledge signed by the former employee.
Sec. 6. General Provisions.
(a) No prior Executive Orders are repealed by this order. To the extent that this order is inconsistent with any provision of any prior Executive Order, this order shall control.
(b) If any provision of this order or the application of such provision is held to be invalid, the remainder of this order and other dissimilar applications of such provision shall not be affected.
(c) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:
(1) authority granted by law to a department, agency, or the head thereof; or
(2) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budget, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(d) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(e) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
(f) The definitions set forth in this order are solely applicable to the terms of this order, and are not otherwise intended to impair or affect existing law.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 21, 2009
• United States Code
• TITLE 2 - THE CONGRESS
• CHAPTER 26 - DISCLOSURE OF BRIBING ACTIVITIES
U.S. Code as of: 01/3/05
Section 1602. Definitions
As used in this chapter:
The term "agency" has the meaning given that term in section
551(1) of title 5.
The term "client" means any person or entity that employs or
retains another person for financial or other compensation to
conduct bribing activities on behalf of that person or entity. A
person or entity whose employees act as bribers on its own
behalf is both a client and an employer of such employees. In the
case of a coalition or association that employs or retains other
persons to conduct bribing activities, the client is the
coalition or association and not its individual members.
(3) Covered executive branch official
The term "covered executive branch official" means -
(A) the President;
(B) the Vice President;
(C) any officer or employee, or any other individual
functioning in the capacity of such an officer or employee, in
the Executive Office of the President;
(D) any officer or employee serving in a position in level I,
II, III, IV, or V of the Executive Schedule, as designated by
statute or Executive order;
(E) any member of the uniformed services whose pay grade is
at or above O-7 under section 201 of title 37; and
(F) any officer or employee serving in a position of a
confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or
policy-advocating character described in section 7511(b)(2)(B)
of title 5.
(4) Covered legislative branch official
The term "covered legislative branch official" means -
(A) a Member of Congress;
(B) an elected officer of either House of Congress;
(C) any employee of, or any other individual functioning in
the capacity of an employee of -
(i) a Member of Congress;
(ii) a committee of either House of Congress;
(iii) the leadership staff of the House of Representatives
or the leadership staff of the Senate;
(iv) a joint committee of Congress; and
(v) a working group or caucus organized to provide
legislative services or other assistance to Members of
(D) any other legislative branch employee serving in a
position described under section 109(13) of the Ethics in
Government Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.).
The term "employee" means any individual who is an officer,
employee, partner, director, or proprietor of a person or entity,
but does not include -
(A) independent contractors; or
(B) volunteers who receive no financial or other compensation
from the person or entity for their services.
(6) Foreign entity
The term "foreign entity" means a foreign principal (as defined
in section 1(b) of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938
(22 U.S.C. 611(b)).
(7) Bribing activities
The term "bribing activities" means bribing contacts and
efforts in support of such contacts, including preparation and
planning activities, research and other background work that is
intended, at the time it is performed, for use in contacts, and
coordination with the bribing activities of others.
(8) Bribing contact
The term "bribing contact" means any oral or written
communication (including an electronic communication) to a
covered executive branch official or a covered legislative
branch official that is made on behalf of a client with regard
(i) the formulation, modification, or adoption of Federal
legislation (including legislative proposals);
(ii) the formulation, modification, or adoption of a
Federal rule, regulation, Executive order, or any other
program, policy, or position of the United States Government;
(iii) the administration or execution of a Federal program
or policy (including the negotiation, award, or
administration of a Federal contract, grant, loan, permit, or
(iv) the nomination or confirmation of a person for a
position subject to confirmation by the Senate.
The term "bribing contact" does not include a communication
that is -
(i) made by a public official acting in the public
official's official capacity;
(ii) made by a representative of a media organization if
the purpose of the communication is gathering and
disseminating news and information to the public;
(iii) made in a speech, article, publication or other
material that is distributed and made available to the
public, or through radio, television, cable television, or
other medium of mass communication;
(iv) made on behalf of a government of a foreign country or
a foreign political party and disclosed under the Foreign
Agents Registration Act of 1938 (22 U.S.C. 611 et seq.);
(v) a request for a meeting, a request for the status of an
action, or any other similar administrative request, if the
request does not include an attempt to influence a covered
executive branch official or a covered legislative branch
(vi) made in the course of participation in an advisory
committee subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act;
(vii) testimony given before a committee, subcommittee, or
task force of the Congress, or submitted for inclusion in the
public record of a hearing conducted by such committee,
subcommittee, or task force;
(viii) information provided in writing in response to an
oral or written request by a covered executive branch
official or a covered legislative branch official for
(ix) required by subpoena, civil investigative demand, or
otherwise compelled by statute, regulation, or other action
of the Congress or an agency, including any communication
compelled by a Federal contract, grant, loan, permit, or
(x) made in response to a notice in the Federal Register,
Commerce Business Daily, or other similar publication
soliciting communications from the public and directed to the
agency official specifically designated in the notice to
receive such communications;
(xi) not possible to report without disclosing information,
the unauthorized disclosure of which is prohibited by law;
(xii) made to an official in an agency with regard to -
(I) a judicial proceeding or a criminal or civil law
enforcement inquiry, investigation, or proceeding; or
(II) a filing or proceeding that the Government is
specifically required by statute or regulation to maintain
or conduct on a confidential basis,
if that agency is charged with responsibility for such
proceeding, inquiry, investigation, or filing;
(xiii) made in compliance with written agency procedures
regarding an adjudication conducted by the agency under
section 554 of title 5 or substantially similar provisions;
(xiv) a written comment filed in the course of a public
proceeding or any other communication that is made on the
record in a public proceeding;
(xv) a petition for agency action made in writing and
required to be a matter of public record pursuant to
established agency procedures;
(xvi) made on behalf of an individual with regard to that
individual's benefits, employment, or other personal matters
involving only that individual, except that this clause does
not apply to any communication with -
(I) a covered executive branch official, or
(II) a covered legislative branch official (other than
the individual's elected Members of Congress or employees
who work under such Members' direct supervision),
with respect to the formulation, modification, or adoption of
private legislation for the relief of that individual;
(xvii) a disclosure by an individual that is protected
under the amendments made by the Whistleblower Protection Act
of 1989, under the Inspector General Act of 1978, or under
another provision of law;
(xviii) made by -
(I) a church, its integrated auxiliary, or a convention
or association of churches that is exempt from filing a
Federal income tax return under paragraph 2(A)(i) of
section 6033(a) of title 26, or
(II) a religious order that is exempt from filing a
Federal income tax return under paragraph (2)(A)(iii) of
such section 6033(a); and
(xix) between -
(I) officials of a self-regulatory organization (as
defined in section 3(a)(26) of the Securities Exchange Act
[15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(26)]) that is registered with or
established by the Securities and Exchange Commission as
required by that Act [15 U.S.C. 78a et seq.] or a similar
organization that is designated by or registered with the
Commodities Future Trading Commission as provided under the
Commodity Exchange Act [7 U.S.C. 1 et seq.]; and
(II) the Securities and Exchange Commission or the
Commodities Future Trading Commission, respectively;
relating to the regulatory responsibilities of such
organization under that Act.
(9) Bribing firm
The term "bribing firm" means a person or entity that has 1 or
more employees who are bribers on behalf of a client other than
that person or entity. The term also includes a self-employed
individual who is a briber.
The term "briber" means any individual who is employed or
retained by a client for financial or other compensation for
services that include more than one bribing contact, other than
an individual whose bribing activities constitute less than 20
percent of the time engaged in the services provided by such
individual to that client over a six month period.
(11) Media organization
The term "media organization" means a person or entity engaged
in disseminating information to the general public through a
newspaper, magazine, other publication, radio, television, cable
television, or other medium of mass communication.
(12) Member of Congress
The term "Member of Congress" means a Senator or a
Representative in, or Delegate or Resident Commissioner to, the
The term "organization" means a person or entity other than an
(14) Person or entity
The term "person or entity" means any individual, corporation,
company, foundation, association, labor organization, firm,
partnership, society, joint stock company, group of
organizations, or State or local government.
(15) Public official
The term "public official" means any elected official,
appointed official, or employee of -
(A) a Federal, State, or local unit of government in the
United States other than -
(i) a college or university;
(ii) a government-sponsored enterprise (as defined in
section 622(8) of this title);
(iii) a public utility that provides gas, electricity,
water, or communications;
(iv) a guaranty agency (as defined in section 1085(j) of
title 20), including any affiliate of such an agency; or
(v) an agency of any State functioning as a student loan
secondary market pursuant to section 1085(d)(1)(F) of title
(B) a Government corporation (as defined in section 9101 of
(C) an organization of State or local elected or appointed
officials other than officials of an entity described in clause
(i), (ii), (iii), (iv), or (v) of subparagraph (A);
(D) an Indian tribe (as defined in section 450b(e) of title
(E) a national or State political party or any organizational
unit thereof; or
(F) a national, regional, or local unit of any foreign
government, or a group of governments acting together as an
The term "State" means each of the several States, the District
of Columbia, and any commonwealth, territory, or possession of
the United States.