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5/22/2007 5:14:31 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA: Final Vote on Federal Lobbying Reform Bill on Thursday

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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May 22, 2007

HSLDA: Final Vote on Federal Lobbying Reform Bill on Thursday

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Thank you for your calls last week before the U.S. House of
Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing on Thursday, May 17. The
attempts to regulate grassroots lobbying were temporarily defeated
when H.R. 2093, "A Bill to amend the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995,"
was defeated in committee by a bipartisan voice vote. The lobbying
reform bill, H.R. 2316, "The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act
of 2007" passed the House Judiciary Committee with no dangerous
amendments. Despite this first victory, however, there may be more
attempts to regulate grassroots lobbying on Thursday, May 24, when the
House of Representatives votes on the lobbying reform bill.

HSLDA is neutral on the lobbying reform bill, H.R. 2316. However, we
oppose two other bills that would regulate grassroots lobbying: H.R.
2093, "A Bill to amend the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995,"
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4137
and H.R. 984, "The Executive Branch Reform Act of 2007,"
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=4138 . It is possible the sponsors
of these bills may bring them up as "11th hour" amendments to the
lobbying reform bill on the House floor.

ACTION REQUESTED

If you have already called your U.S. Representative, thank you for
fighting to protect grassroots lobbying. If you have not already
called your U.S. Representative, please call today and urge him or her
to vote against any amendments to the lobbying reform bill, H.R. 2316,
"The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007," which would
regulate grassroots lobbying. Your message can be as simple as, "As
Congress takes up lobbying reform, please make sure that the First
Amendment right of citizens to call their elected officials is
protected. Please vote against any amendments to H.R. 2316 that
restricts grassroots lobbying." It is not necessary to identify
yourself as a homeschooler.

You can reach your U.S. Representative by calling the U.S. Capitol
Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, or by using our legislative toolbox at
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=3602 . Your federal U.S.
Representative is listed in the left hand column under President Bush.

BACKGROUND

The House Judiciary Committee voted to send the H.R. 2316, "The Honest
Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007" to the House on Thursday,
May 17. This bill is a bipartisan bill and contains much-needed
congressional reforms. However, some Representatives may offer as
amendments two additional bills which are very problematic: H.R. 984,
"The Executive Branch Reform Act of 2007," and H.R. 2093, "A Bill to
amend the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995." It is likely that H.R.
2316 will be voted on by the full House of Representatives on
Thursday, May 24.

Although HSLDA is neutral on H.R. 2316, the lobbying reform bill, we
oppose both of the bills that could be offered as amendments, H.R. 984
and H.R. 2093, as they will increase regulation on entities which urge
citizens to call their elected officials. H.R. 2093 will regulate
attempts to encourage citizens to contact their elected
representatives, otherwise known as "grassroots lobbying." This is
done by broadening the definition of a "lobbying firm" to include
entities that spend, receive or agree to spend or receive $100,000 per
quarter on grassroots lobbying activities. H.R. 984 will require over
9,000 employees in the Executive Branch to report any "significant
contact" between the employee and a citizen about any official
government action.

Although these bills may not affect most homeschool support groups,
organizations, or churches at the outset, they strike at the heart of
free speech and the rights of citizens to stay informed about their
government and call their elected officials. If these bills are
included in the Lobbying Reform Bill, more restrictions will follow on
anyone who urges citizens to call Congress, including restrictions
that would severely burden homeschool support groups, organizations,
and churches. Please read more about this and the victory for
grassroots lobbying in the Senate at
http://nche.hslda.org/docs/nche/Issues/G/GrassrootsLobbying_Federal.as
p

Thank you for standing for liberty.

Sincerely,

J. Michael Smith
President, HSLDA

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families wanting to teach their children at home.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1944

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