B-217678, FEB 19, 1985, 64 COMP.GEN. 281

B-217678: Feb 19, 1985

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THERE IS NO ANTILOBBYING RESTRICTION AGAINST THE USE OF TVA FISCAL YEAR 1985 APPROPRIATIONS FOR GRASS ROOTS LOBBYING ACTIVITIES. A PENAL STATUTE WHICH IS THE SUBJECT OF YOUR LETTER TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. THERE IS NO ANTILOBBYING APPROPRIATION RESTRICTION APPLICABLE TO FISCAL YEAR 1985 TVA APPROPRIATIONS. TVA'S FISCAL YEAR 1985 APPROPRIATIONS ARE CONTAINED IN PUBLIC LAW 98 360. POSTAL SERVICES AND GENERAL GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATION ACT CONTAINED AN ANTILOBBYING APPROPRIATIONS RESTRICTION WHICH WAS APPLICABLE TO APPROPRIATIONS CONTAINED IN THAT ACT FOR A GIVEN FISCAL YEAR AS WELL AS ALL OTHER APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR THE PARTICULAR FISCAL YEAR. WERE COVERED BY THAT ANTILOBBYING RESTRICTION.

B-217678, FEB 19, 1985, 64 COMP.GEN. 281

LOBBYING - APPROPRIATION PROHIBITION POSSIBLY WITH THE EXCEPTION OF 18 U.S.C. 1913, A PENAL ANTILOBBYING STATUTE ADMINISTERED BY THE DEPT. OF JUSTICE, THERE IS NO ANTILOBBYING RESTRICTION AGAINST THE USE OF TVA FISCAL YEAR 1985 APPROPRIATIONS FOR GRASS ROOTS LOBBYING ACTIVITIES.

TO THE HONORABLE DON SUNDQUIST, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, FEBRUARY 19, 1985:

YOUR JANUARY 25, 1985 LETTER ENCLOSED A COPY OF YOUR REQUEST TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FOR AN OPINION ON A LOBBYING QUESTION. THE QUESTION CONCERNS A LETTER FROM A TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY (TVA) DISTRICT ADMINISTRATOR TO MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC URGING THEM TO CONTACT MEMBERS OF CONGRESS IN OPPOSITION TO BUDGET CUTS BEING PROPOSED FOR TVA.

ON FEBRUARY 11, 1985, AN ATTORNEY FROM THIS OFFICE CONTACTED MR. THOMAS J. MCNAMARA OF YOUR STAFF AND ADVISED HIM THAT WITH THE POSSIBLE EXCEPTION OF 18 U.S.C. SEC. 1913, A PENAL STATUTE WHICH IS THE SUBJECT OF YOUR LETTER TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, THERE IS NO ANTILOBBYING APPROPRIATION RESTRICTION APPLICABLE TO FISCAL YEAR 1985 TVA APPROPRIATIONS. MR. MCNAMARA REQUESTED US TO PROVIDE YOU WITH A WRITTEN RESPONSE ON THIS POINT.

TVA'S FISCAL YEAR 1985 APPROPRIATIONS ARE CONTAINED IN PUBLIC LAW 98 360, JULY 16, 1984, 98 STAT. 403, AN ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR ENERGY AND WATER DEVELOPMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING SEPTEMBER 30, 1985, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. THAT ACT DOES NOT CONTAIN A RESTRICTION PROHIBITING THE USE OF TVA APPROPRIATIONS FOR LOBBYING ACTIVITIES.

IN THE YEARS PRIOR TO FISCAL YEAR 1984, THE ANNUAL TREASURY, POSTAL SERVICES AND GENERAL GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATION ACT CONTAINED AN ANTILOBBYING APPROPRIATIONS RESTRICTION WHICH WAS APPLICABLE TO APPROPRIATIONS CONTAINED IN THAT ACT FOR A GIVEN FISCAL YEAR AS WELL AS ALL OTHER APPROPRIATION ACTS FOR THE PARTICULAR FISCAL YEAR. AS SUCH, ALL APPROPRIATIONS, INCLUDING THOSE OF TVA, WERE COVERED BY THAT ANTILOBBYING RESTRICTION. THIS GENERALLY WAS THE CASE EVEN WHEN THE ANNUAL TREASURY, POSTAL SERVICES AND GENERAL GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATION BILL FAILED TO PASS AND WAS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE IN A LAW CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS FOR A PARTICULAR YEAR.

DURING FLOOR DEBATE IN THE HOUSE ON THE FISCAL YEAR 1984 TREASURY, POSTAL SERVICES AND GENERAL GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATION ACT, A POINT OF ORDER WAS RAISED AGAINST THE ANTILOBBYING RESTRICTION WHICH CAUSED IT TO BE STRICKEN FROM THE BILL. SEE 129 CONG. REC. H8735, OCTOBER 27, 1983. THE STRICKEN PROVISION WAS NOT INCLUDED IN THE FISCAL YEAR 1985 TREASURY, POSTAL SERVICES AND GENERAL GOVERNMENT APPROPRIATION ACT.

ACCORDINGLY, WE ARE UNAWARE OF ANY NON-PENAL ANTILOBBYING APPROPRIATION RESTRICTION WHICH WOULD BE APPLICABLE TO TVA'S APPROPRIATIONS.