On Wednesday, June 27, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee passed legislation that eases proposed limitations on government employee attendance at conferences, including those held by trade associations like NAR.
H.R. 4631, the “GSA Act of 2012,” sponsored by Representative Joe Walsh (R-IL), contains new language which addresses many of the concerns NAR voiced in letters sent to the House and Senate over restrictions approved this spring by the House and Senate.
In the GSA Act of 2012, the definition of “conference” is changed to any "meeting, retreat, seminar, symposium, or event to which an employee travels 25 miles or more to attend," which is much less restrictive than the definition adopted in the earlier Senate bill; additionally, there is no prohibition on attending more than one conference held by a private entity annually. Bill language also suggests that private entities can provide some financial support for federal employees to attend.
Erin Stackley, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-383-1150