Alleged Lobbying of Members of Congress by Commerce Department Employees

CED-77-110: Published: Jul 27, 1977. Publicly Released: Nov 5, 1982.

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An investigation was made of what the Consumer Affairs Division of the Department of Commerce has done to promote the passage of the Consumer Protection Act of 1977 to determine if a violation of the antilobbying statute had occurred.

The President's Advisor on Consumer Affairs asked the Department of Commerce to contact members of the House of Representatives to ascertain their positions on the proposed bill. The assignment was carried out by the Consumer Affairs Division. GAO held that statutes do not prevent Government officials from communicating their views to Congress in regard to pending legislation in the public interest. Direct lobbying is generally allowed by 18 United States Code 1913. (DJM)

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