Jill Kozeny, 202/224-1308
Jill Gerber, 202/224-6522
Grassley Welcomes New Transparency in Miscellaneous Tariff Bill Process
WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Finance Committee, today joined the committee chairman, Sen. Max Baucus, in announcing the initiation of a process to develop a miscellaneous tariff bill in the 111th Congress.
Grassley has long sought greater transparency regarding lobbying activities associated with miscellaneous tariff bills before he would support a process for developing a new miscellaneous tariff bill. Today’s announcement follows action taken by the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives to require greater specificity in reporting lobbying activities associated with miscellaneous tariff bills under the Lobbying Disclosure Act. Effective immediately, filers are required to identify such lobbying activities under a new general issue area code for miscellaneous tariff bills, i.e. “TARIFF”. This change will allow the public to readily search for lobbying activities associated with miscellaneous tariff bills under the new TARIFF issue area code.
“I worked to increase transparency in the process for the last miscellaneous tariff bill, which passed in 2006,” Grassley said. “In addition to continuing the practice of vetting by the International Trade Commission, the Department of Commerce, and the Customs and Border Protection agency, the committee instituted a new step and invited public comments to be submitted to the Finance Committee electronically, which we posted on the Finance Committee website. We also posted links to each bill under consideration for inclusion in the miscellaneous tariff bill.
“During discussions of a possible miscellaneous tariff bill process for this Congress, it became clear that the process would benefit from improved transparency in the disclosure of lobbying activities associated with individual miscellaneous tariff bills. The recent action taken by the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives accomplishes that goal. It provides an accessible database for the public to learn about individual miscellaneous tariff bills that are being lobbied on as we go forward. As a result of this action, I now support the development of a new miscellaneous tariff bill in this Congress.”
An announcement and example of the new TARIFF issue area code can be found on the website of the Secretary of the Senate at http://www.senate.gov/legislative/Public_Disclosure/tar.htm. Notice of the new TARIFF code can also be found on the website of the Clerk of the House of Representatives at http://lobbyingdisclosure.house.gov/ under “Frequently Asked Questions—Registration and Reporting.”
The public can search under the new TARIFF issue area code on the website of the Secretary of the Senate at http://soprweb.senate.gov/index.cfm?event=selectfields and on the website of the Clerk of the House of Representatives at http://disclosures.house.gov/ld/ldsearch.aspx.
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