Lobbying by Executive Branch Personnel

Headnotes: 

Title 18, section 1913 of the U.S. Code does not bar conversations which a Peace Corps employee had with certain members of Congress at the direction of the Director of the Peace Corps in an attempt to enlist their support for a bill to establish the Peace Corps on a statutory basis.

A literal interpretation of 18 U.S.C. § 1913, which would prevent the President or his subordinates from formally or informally presenting his or his administration’s views to the Congress, its members, or its committees regarding the need for new legislation or the wisdom of existing legislation, or which would prevent the administration from assisting in the drafting of legislation, would raise serious doubts as to the constitutionality of that statute. As so interpreted, it would seriously inhibit the exercise of what is now regarded as a basic constitutional function of the President concerning the legislative process.

Updated July 9, 2014