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Message to the Congress Transmitting Proposed Legislation on Government Ethics

April 12, 1989

To the Congress of the United States:

I am pleased to submit for your consideration and enactment a bill entitled the "Government-Wide Ethics Act of 1989." This legislation reflects my commitment to ensuring the protection of the public interest in the integrity of the Government.

The "Government-Wide Ethics Act of 1989" would constitute the first major revision of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 and covers a broad spectrum of ethics issues. Federal personnel financial disclosure reporting requirements would be revised to strengthen the public disclosure process. The general conflict-of-interest and post-employment restriction statutes would be strengthened and expanded to cover, with stated exceptions, officers and employees in all three branches of Government. The bill also includes numerous other important provisions addressing such matters as: deferral of tax liability associated with divestiture of assets in order to avoid conflicts of interest; outside earned income limitations for senior officials; extension to the Congress of the independent counsel statute; and restrictions on the use of excess campaign contributions.

The proposals represent an effort to communicate definitive ethical standards to Federal employees throughout our Government. The people who dedicate their lives selflessly to serving this country and the citizens who rely on the integrity of their public servants deserve no less.

George Bush

The White House,

April 12, 1989.

George Bush, Message to the Congress Transmitting Proposed Legislation on Government Ethics Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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