14 APR 1988
"The public" includes active duty military members, civilian employees, Reservists
(whether on active duty or not), Auxiliarists, private organizations, special interest groups,
and the general public.
DISCUSSION. Reference (a) is a criminal statute commonly called the "Anti-Lobbying Act."
It prohibits the unauthorized use of appropriated funds, to pay for any Government time,
advertisement, telegram, letter, equipment or other device to influence to Congress in acting on
legislation, before or after its introduction. Violations of the Anti-Lobbying Act are crimes
which are punishable by imprisonment, fine, or both. Also, the statute provides for removal
from office or employment of Government personnel. The Anti-lobbying Act does not prevent
employees, officers and members of the Uniformed Services from communicating with
Congress, through official channels and does not prevent or restrict members of the armed
forces and employees from communicating with Members of Congress at their own expense.
Official Channels: No military member or civilian employee is authorized to use
Government time, equipment or supplies to communicate with Congress except as
authorized by reference (b) or by the Commandant.
"Grass Roots Lobbying": The use of Government time, equipment or supplies for the
purpose of inducing the public or special interest groups to influence Congress is
prohibited in accordance with these procedures. Examples of prohibited activities include
using or authorizing the use of:
Government phones, copying machines or other equipment to organize the public to
Government supplies to be distributed and used by the public in their contacts with
Government penalty indicia envelopes, Coast Guard letterhead stationery, or the
Government's internal mailing system to stimulate the public to contact Congress.
Official Representation: The restrictions on the use of appropriated funds for lobbying
purposes do not prohibit military members and civilian employees from meeting with
private organizations and specific interest groups in an