The Rolla Daily News
Feb 26, 2009
Senators Chuck Grassley and Claire McCaskill today said that they are working to keep Congress living by the same rules as everybody else. They have introduced legislation that would give the same whistleblower protections to employees in the legislative branch as to those afforded in the executive branch of government.
“Americans want an accountable and responsible Congress. Whistleblowers can be a key component to ensuring that misdeeds are uncovered. They are often the only ones who know the skeletons hidden deep in the closets. It takes courage to stand up and point out wrongdoing and it’s unacceptable that people would be retaliated against for doing the right thing,” Grassley said. “Whistleblowers in the executive branch have helped me do my job of oversight. It’s simply not fair, nor is it good governance for Congress to enact whistleblower protections on the other branches of government without giving its own employees the same consideration. Congress needs to practice what it preaches.”
“Whistleblowers are the eyes and ears that expose some of the worst cases of fraud, waste and abuse of power,” said McCaskill. “Since I arrived in Washington, I have made it a goal to protect watchdogs who keep government and industry on the straight and narrow, and Congress should be no exception. We need to make sure that congressional employees have the same protections from retaliation as their colleagues in the executive branch.”
The legislation would help protect legislative branch employees from retaliation because those individuals disclosed information that they reasonably believed is evidence of a violation of any law, rule, or regulation.
Earlier this year, Grassley and McCaskill teamed up to move a bill that would put in place provisions to better monitor how the $700 billion dollars of the TARP program are spent by increasing the power and authority of the Special Inspector General created to oversee the program.