Skip to main content

Representatives Todd Platts (R-PA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) are sponsoring an amendment to the $825 billion stimulus bill facing imminent congressional votes.  This amendment is necessary to restore a credible Whistleblower Protection Act for federal workers, who will have the first-line responsibility for keeping stimulus spending honest.  

Last year, Congress spent $700 billion, and said it would later provide accountability structures such as whistleblower protection.  Soon the money will all be spent, and federal employees still proceed at their own risk if they try to keep the spending honest.

Without best practices whistleblower rights in the next $825 billion stimulus bill, it could become a blank check for fraud, waste and abuse. This time Congress needs to enact whistleblower rights BEFORE the taxpayers’ money is spent. There must be no more government spending without accountability.  By supporting the Van Hollen-Platts amendment, Congress would be protecting not only whistleblowers, but all taxpayers.

Last evening, the House Rules Committee accepted an amendment to H.R. 1, offered by Representatives Van Hollen and Platts, which  would establish effective whistleblower rights for federal employees.  The amendment sets a new  standard for accountability through transparency by empowering federal employees to call attention to waste, fraud, and abuse of tax dollars without fear of retaliation. This afternoon a vote is scheduled and I seriously hope House Members will pass the Van Hollen-Platts amendment.  

The language of the amendment is identical to last Congress’ H.R. 985, which the House passed in 2007 by a 331-94 vote. (Unfortunately, the Senate did not act on H.R. 985 or on a similar Senate bill prior to adjournment of the 110th Congress.)

261 bipartisan citizen organizations and corporations, representing millions of Americans, have urged support for whistleblower rights for federal employees. This accountability reform is essential in HR 1, the pending stimulus legislation.

The current federal whistleblower law is woefully inadequate to keep whistleblowers safe from retaliation; to the contrary, it actually intensifies secrecy by serving as a rubber-stamp for retaliation. To illustrate, since 1994 the track record on decisions on the merits at the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals (which is the only court that can review such cases), is 3-206 against whistleblowers.

Whistleblowers challenge abuses of power that betray the public trust. As the public’s eyes and ears, they are the Achilles’ heel of bureaucratic corruption sustained by secrecy.  Indeed, whistleblowers protect the integrity of all federal spending, whether the issue is a financial bailout of the banking or auto industry, fraud at Wall Street firms, prescription drug safety, environmental protection, infrastructure spending, national health care, homeland security, national defense or foreign policy. Wisely, the Van Hollen-Platts amendment protects all taxpayer-financed federal employees and contractor employers who challenge any misspending. Its benefits will continue long after stimulus spending ends.

UPDATE: The House approved whistleblower protections as part of stimulus bill.  Thank you everybody!!

Originally posted to Jesselyn Radack on Wed Jan 28, 2009 at 07:02 AM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

joe, bink, Doug in SF, hoipolloi, rick, tmo, Ray Radlein, tankej, slinkerwink, Bendygirl, Trendar, glitterscale, Geenius at Wrok, Maxlongstreet, decafdyke, whataboutbob, mattman, DebtorsPrison, greenbird, Emerson, dengre, lobbygow, lysias, eeff, dkistner, HootieMcBoob, patsy in pgh, marjo, object16, mataliandy, givmeliberty, expat germany, bigforkgirl, eyeswideopen, Gustogirl, Justina, bronte17, annrose, understandinglife, SecondComing, whenwego, Baldwiny, Time Waits for no Woman, 4thgendem, Xapulin, boadicea, Cool Blue Reason, roses, michelle, JuliaAnn, peraspera, nargel, dqueue, luku, Spindizzy, Jesterfox, enough already, artebella, hopeful, Oke, Alizaryn, Lynwaz, nancelot, danthrax, TexDem, oldjohnbrown, Dallasdoc, mrkvica, CitizenOfEarth, crkrjx, gmb, grannyhelen, bloomster, Black Maned Pensator, GN1927, Penny Century, defluxion10, wrights, betson08, porsupah, Pohjola, walkshills, bwintx, econlibVA, AllisonInSeattle, ybruti, WisVoter, KayCeSF, tomjones, rickeagle, Daddy Bartholomew, murrayewv, Gowrie Gal, rapala, nailbender, nehark, madaprn, jonathan94002, Tarindel, marina, radarlady, Kewalo, Treg, DianeNYS, freakofsociety, blueyedace2, JanetT in MD, mjd in florida, OpherGopher, PBen, Bill Section 147, panicbean, david78209, Dobber, Mz Kleen, dansk47, LNK, Pam from Calif, Existentialist, Inland, GreyHawk, QuickSilver, Skid, Joy Busey, lasky57, Isara, PinHole, deep, wiscmass, Lisa Lockwood, dsteffen, bunsk, USexpat Ukraine, Cory Bantic, Brian B, Ekaterin, hcc in VA, empathy, Land of Enchantment, kathny, fhcec, Jim R, begone, reddbierd, martini, BachFan, MissInformation, MoreTruth, tarheelblue, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, my pet rock, ferallike, BlueInARedState, trentinca, Ellicatt, Yellow Canary, seefleur, victoria2dc, buhdydharma, KenBee, XStryker, bluebrain, Albatross, SarekOfVulcan, SherriG, tecampbell, StrayCat, Ashaman, gatorcog, real world chick, NearlyNormal, armadillo, CTLiberal, bleeding heart, Preston S, el cid, doinaheckuvanutjob, Pilgrim X, Hey BB, Turbonerd, SingerInTheChoir, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, fiddlingnero, Grant Caesar Peters, Stripe, WI Dem, means are the ends, Dreaming of Better Days, kurt, jjellin, kurious, Snarcalita, leighkidd, Temmoku, miller415, AllanTBG, markthshark, Aaa T Tudeattack, AntKat, BentLiberal, GoldnI, ammasdarling, subav8r, One Pissed Off Liberal, pgm 01, lightfoot, xaxado, bvljac, donnamarie, Fredly, nmira, moosely2006, threegoal, jds1978, FishOutofWater, yowsta, Jimdotz, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, horsepatsy, drchelo, malharden, Rex Manning, jayden, montanajen, thursdays child, jnhobbs, Moderation, owl06, leonard145b, JML9999, Zydekos, BasharH, keikekaze, eyesoars, cal in cali, Empower Ink, MKinTN, GANJA, fayeforcure, rogerdaddy, mconvente, condorcet, califdem, dadadata, Archangel, DCBlue, Its any one guess, alipi, mikeconwell, Deep Harm, Lujane, tofumagoo, pamelabrown, evora, daddy4mak, pickandshovel, MsWings, rubine, Gemina13, PJ Jefferson, LaFajita, echatwa, Parthenia, BYw, Tross, allie123, dont think, magicsister, rhutcheson, shortgirl, forgore, legendmn, 4km, 1BQ, Bule Betawi, cybrestrike, driftwood, Neon Vincent, Texanomaly, emboyo, litoralis, meatwad420, Discipline28, eroded47095, cantelow, be the change you seek, Stranded Wind, mudgod, weltshmertz, notrouble, Partisan Progressive, Tara the Antisocial Social Worker, h bridges, earicicle, mrchumchum, JesseCW, zackamac, Daily Activist, Mercuriousss, dRefractor, followyourbliss, zizi, MKSinSA, soms, obscuresportsquarterly, deutschluz, Septima, CityLightsLover, elropsych, 57andFemale, ArthurPoet, sherijr, fitz2, xylem, deviant24x, LookingUp, Larsstephens, Amber6541, Lazar, oohdoiloveyou, loper2008, awcomeon, marabout40, KroneckerD, Jampacked, p gorden lippy, drache, sovery, Sand in Florida, The Jester, Commoditize This, robertacker13, My mom is my hero, Blue Blood, amk for obama, fidellio, sillyalicia, luvsathoroughbred, chrome327, wvmom, Ronald Singleterry, JohnAdams999, RJP9999, Monkey Man Hermit, ctlrick, sullivanst, JasperJohns, Blue Liberty, djughurknot, Black Leather Rain, DtheV, Urtica dioica gracilis, Casual Wednesday, MsGrin, Floande, Shelleyw, nosleep4u, slice, anaxiamander, Adam Miles, allenjo, Geoff D, Quite Contrary, BillyElliott, thethinveil, lawboy, Cinnamon, bamabikeguy, rk2, green plum, Edgewater

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site