Grassley proposes protecting congressional whistleblowers
February 25, 2009
Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley today said he was introducing a bill that would specifically protect from retaliation congressional employees who report violations or laws or regulations.
The Republican senator also has recently proposed updating the False Claims Act, a law that encourages whistleblowers to report governmental fraud and abuse.
"Today, I'm introducing legislation to apply whistleblower protections to the legislative branch of government," Grassley said during a conference call with Iowa reporters. "The bill would protect employees of Congress from retaliation for disclosing information about the violation of a law, rule or regulation.
"Whistleblowers in the executive branch have helped me do my job of oversight, and congressional whistleblowers could be as effective," he added.
Grassley on Tuesday proposed updating the False Claims Act for the first time since 1986. He has been an advocate of the Civil War-era law and has argued in recent weeks that federal court decisions have trimmed the law's authority.
The law allows citizens to bring criminal court cases against the government in cases of fraud and to receive a portion of recovered money.
Grassley said the law has recovered $22 billion for the U.S. treasury, "so I think it's proved its usefulness."