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Statement from Chairman and Ranking Minority Member
from Chairman Joel Hefley (R-CO) and ranking minority member Alan Mollohan (D-WV)

emailed to Marketplace on September 24, 2004

"The travel disclosure forms filed by House Members and staff with the Clerk's office under the gift rule (clause 5 of House Rule 25) are an important part of the rule's provisions that regulate travel related to official duties. In the years since the current gift rule took effect, the Standards Committee has taken a number of steps [to] enhance the rule's disclosure provisions, including making a series of improvements in the disclosure form itself, and, beginning several years ago, having Committee staff review copies of the forms after they are filed with the Clerk's office. It is Committee policy for staff to contact an office where a form is materially incomplete or indicates a possible violation of the gift rule. At times, the follow-up information received from an office establishes that there was no violation of the rules, but in a number of instances, the Committee has required repayment of travel expenses that were improperly accepted. Our major concern is to see that any possible gift rule violations reflected in the forms are corrected, and where the Committee receives credible information indicating a possible violation - whether from staff review of the forms, new media reports or otherwise - the Committee will make inquiry on the matter and, where a violation is found, take appropriate remedial action."





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