WASHINGTON, D.C. | July 28, 2021 — Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), often referred to as “the patron saint” of whistleblowers, will deliver a keynote address at the National Whistleblower Day 2021 celebration on Friday, July 29th at 12 PM EDT.
Grassley took up the cause of protecting and supporting whistleblowers when he noticed wasteful and irregular spending in defense programs in the early 1980s. It became clear that the government was being defrauded by military contractors. Although they had been lucky enough to find this particular case, this kind of fraudulent contracting could well be the tip of a much larger iceberg. Grassley pushed for reforms to the False Claims Act. This American Civil War-era law had been rendered toothless after World War II. These reforms turned the False Claims Act into what it is today: the world’s most powerful whistleblower and anti-fraud law.
Since reforming the False Claims Act and helping to pass the Dodd-Frank Act, Grassley has continued to push for stronger whistleblower protections and rewards with remarkable and consistent zeal. In 2014 he co-founded the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus to further advance whistleblower protections in Congress. In his National Whistleblower Day address, he will speak about the current state of whistleblower protections in the U.S. He will discuss what can be done to further protect and encourage future whistleblowers to step forward to report fraud and injustice.
“Senator Grassley supported whistleblowers at a time when they were considered, in Senator Grassley’s words, little more than ‘skunks at the picnic,’” said Siri Nelson, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center. “We are honored to have him once again demonstrate his unwavering support for whistleblowers at this year’s celebration.”
Grassley will also be interviewed by whistleblower advocate and FBI whistleblower Jane Turner. Turner will focus on the personal side of Grassley’s whistleblower advocacy. She will ask him how being “the patron saint” of whistleblowers has affected his home life, political career, and other political goals. This featured interview will air on Wednesday, July 28th at 12EDT.
Members of the media are encouraged to RSVP for National Whistleblower Day 2021 for updates and a link to join the event.