Description: TO PASS H.R. 8617.
Bill summary: (Conference report filed in House, H. Rept. 94-943)
Federal Employees' Political Activities Act - Stipulates that it is the policy of the Congress that Federal employees should be encouraged to fully exercise, to the extent not expressly prohibited by law, their rights of voluntary participation in the political processes of our Nation.
Defines the terms used in this Act, including "political contribution" to include the provision of personal services.
States that an employee may not use his
official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with the result of any election, or of intimidating or commanding any individual for the purpose of interfering with the right of any individual to vote as such individual may choose, or of influencing the giving or withholding of a political contribution.
Prohibits specified forms of solicitation and polical activity while on duty by Federal employees.
Prohibits employees of the Internal Revenue Service, the Justice Department, or the Central Intelligence Agency from requesting or receiving from or giving to another Federal employee, Member of Congress, or member of a uniformed service, a political contribution.
Excepts from such prohibition employees in nonsensitive positions, those in sensitive positions but whose participation in such political activities has been determined by the agency head to not adversely affect the integrity of the Government, and Presidential appointees who determine policies to be pursued in the nationwide administration of Federal laws.
Exempts from the ban on political activity while on duty the President and Vice President, individuals paid from the appropriation for the White House Office, individuals on special assignment to the White House Office, and the mayor and council members of the District of Columbia.
Prohibits employees of the Internal Revenue Service, the Justice Department, or the Central Intelligency Agency from taking an active part in political management or political campaigns, unless such part: (1) is in connection with an election and preceding campaign if none of the candidates is to be nominated or elected at that election as representing a party any of whose candidates for Presidential elector received votes in the last preceding election at which Presidential electors were selected, or a question which is not specifically identified with a National or State political party or political party of a territory or possession of the United States; or (2) is permitted by regulations prescribed by the Civil Service Commission and involves the municipality or political subdivision in which such employee resides, when: (a) the municipality or political subdivision is in Maryland or Virginia and in the immediate vicinity of the District of Columbia, or is a municipality in which a majority of voters are employed by the Government of the United States; and (b) the Commission determines that because of special or unusual circumstances which exist in the municipality or political subdivision it is in the domestic interest of the employees to permit political participation.
Permits Federal employees who are candidates for elective office to take accrued annual leave for campaigning.
Establishes a Board on Political Activities of Federal Employees. Directs the Board to hear and decide cases brought under this Act.
Directs the Board to investigate specified reports and allegations of activities prohibited by this Act.
Provides penalties for violations of this Act.
Directs the Board to conduct a program to inform all employees of their rights of political participation and to educate employees as to prohibited political activities.
Suspends for 30 days or permanently removes and prohibits from Federal employment those employees who violate the provisions of this Act relating to use of official authority. Removes and prohibits from Federal employment for a discretionary period those employees who violate provisions of this Act relating to solicitation and political activity while on duty.
Directs the Board to inform each employee individually in writing, at least once each calendar year, of his political rights and of the restrictions under Federal law.
Imposes an imprisonment of two to three years and/or a fine of $5,000 on anyone who threatens physically or takes economic sanctions against a government employee to obtain a political contribution.
Requires the Board to submit proposed regulations under this Act to the Congress, which may disapprove them.
Effectuates this Act January 1, 1977.
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Bill titles: A bill to restore to Federal civilian and Postal Service employees their rights to participate voluntarily, as private citizens, in the political processes of the Nation, to protect such employees from improper political solicitations, and for other purposes.
Original source documents: Digest of the Congressional Record vol. 122-35, p. S3259;
Links for more info on the vote: congress.gov