Here is Thursday’s digest of transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, and transparency-related bills introduced in Congress yesterday.

Also, remember that the Transparency Caucus will hold its inaugural event today at 1 p.m. on Capitol Hill at 2203 Rayburn.

News roundup:

  • The Supreme Court turned a skeptical eye to the idea that the First Amendment protects citizens from having their identities disclosed after signing a referendum even if they face intimidation. (The Washington Post) (The New York Times)
  • Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today unveiled the DISCLOSE Act, a bill limiting the effects of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. (New England Cable News)
  • Businessman Paul Asmus is asking the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate why his $10 million earmark request was rejected possibly the first time such an action has been taken. (Roll Call) ($)
  • A Korean War-era law allowing congressional delegations to travel abroad at no cost has some disclosure loopholes. For example, the cost of travelling on a military aircraft and money spent overseas from foreign currency accounts need not be disclosed. (Roll Call) ($)
  • Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) has introduced a bill that imposes a lifetime ban on members of Congress from becoming lobbyists, extends the cooling-off period to six years for congressional staffers to become lobbyists, and prevents lobbyists from working at congressional offices that they have lobbied for six years. (Roll Call) ($)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 4/29:

Senate:

  • Business meeting to consider S. 657, to provide for media coverage of Federal court proceedings, S. 446, to permit the televising of Supreme Court proceedings, S. Res. 339, to express the sense of the Senate in support of permitting the televising of Supreme Court proceedings, Judiciary: Full Committee, April 29, 10 a.m., Dirksen-226
  • Hearings to examine proposed budget estimates for fiscal year 2011 for the Library of Congress and the Open World Leadership Center, Appropriations: Subcommittee on Legislative Branch, April 29, 3:30 p.m., Dirksen-138.

House:

  • None

Bills introduced 4/28:

Senate:

  • A bill to amend title 49, United States Code, to prohibit individuals who have worked on motor vehicle safety issues at NHTSA from assisting motor vehicle manufacturers with NHTSA compliance matters for a period of 3 years after terminating employment at NHTSA, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. S. 3268. (Bill language not yet available)
  • A bill to provide greater controls and restrictions on revolving door lobbying; to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. S. 3272. (Bill language not yet available)

House:

  • None

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