House passes Rice resolution barring concurrent corporate board membership

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U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice sponsored a resolution that bars members of Congress from concurrently serving on corporate boards. (Photo courtesy of Kathleen Rice)

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution sponsored by Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) on Jan. 3 prohibiting members of Congress and their staffs from serving on corporate boards.

Part of the new House Rules Package for the 116th Congress, Rice initially introduced the resolution in August 2018.

“The American people made it clear that they want Congress to clean up corruption and restore integrity to Washington,” Rice said in a statement. “This resolution is long overdue.

A similar rule existed previously, Senate Rule 37.6(a), which stated that no senators could serve as an officer or board member a publicly-held companies. The current rule include an exception for those already serving on a board for at least two years prior to their election. The new resolution eliminates that exception and requires those who serve on the boards to resign from their position by Jan. 1, 2020.

I applaud Chairman McGovern and the Rules Committee for making it a priority and ensuring that we finally close this gaping ethics loophole,” Rice said. 

The new resolution comes with exceptions as well. The rule may not apply to members of 501(c), non-profit boards and those that do not receive compensation for their service.

Last fall, Rice testified before the House Rules Committee advocating for annual ethics training for members of Congress, which also passed. Previously new members and all House staff were required to undergo annual training.

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