More hereTHE GIFTS RULE A limit on the amount and/or source of acceptable gifts for Senators and their staffs has been in effect since 1977, when the Special Committee on Official Conduct, 95th Congress, proposed the first Code of Official Conduct for Members, officers, and employees of the United States Senate. The report issued by that committee provides a useful source of legislative history on the original intent of the Gifts Rule, which has been amended on several occasions since 1977. 41 The original Rule limited gifts from those with a direct interest in legislation to $100. Later, a $300 limit on gifts from all other sources was added. Thereafter, a uniform $250 annual limit was placed on all sources of gifts. Most recently, the Senate Gifts Rule was revised by Senate Resolution 158, 104th Congress, effective January 1, 1996. A 1994 Report of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs (S. Rpt. No. 103255, 103d Cong., 2d Sess.) offers insight into the purposes behind changes to the Rule effectuated by Senate Resolution 158. The current Rule places significant new restrictions on the ability of Senate Members, officers, and employees to accept gifts. Senate Rule 35.1(a) sets forth the basic rule on accepting gifts. It states: (1) No Member, officer, or employee of the Senate shall knowingly accept a gift except as provided in this rule. (2) A Member, officer, or employee may accept a gift (other than cash or cash equivalent) which the Member, officer, or employee reasonably and in good faith believes to have a value of less than $50, and a cumulative value from one source during a calendar year of less than $100. No gift with a value below $10 shall count toward the $100 annual limit. No formal recordkeeping is required by this paragraph, but a Member, officer, or employee shall make a good faith effort to comply with this paragraph. The figure of $50 (which is actually a dollar limit of $49.99) applies to each gift received, unless the gift falls under an exception. The figure of $100 (which is actually a dollar limit of $99.99) applies to the aggregate value of all non-exempt gifts received from a single source during a calendar year. Thus, the value of all non-exempt gifts from a single source in a calendar year must be tallied. Any gift worth less than $10 is excluded under Rule 35.1(a)(2) and does not count towards the $99.99 total. Once the tally reaches $99.99, all further non-exempt gifts from that source in that year must be declined.