Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act passed by Unanimous Consent
(Washington, DC) – The Government Accountability Project (GAP) hailed last night's 'Unanimous Consent' approval by the US Senate of S. 743, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA). The legislation provides millions of federal workers with the rights they need to safely report corruption from inside the federal bureaucracy.
GAP Legal Director Tom Devine commented, "This is the fourth time the Senate has unanimously approved similar legislation to restore protections for federal whistleblowers. The spotlight now shifts to the House of Representatives, where action is long overdue. Despite unanimous approval last November, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has not yet reported the bill to the full House."
Over the past 12 years, GAP has been at the forefront of advocating for passage of the WPEA, heading a coalition of hundreds of groups demanding these protections. Last Congress, the legislation – after passing both the Senate and House by Unanimous Consent in some form – was killed by an anonymous Senator's "secret hold" in the remaining hours of the session. Working with NPR's On The Media on a campaign to identify the responsible party, GAP was informed that House Republican leadership was responsible for the hold.
Commented Devine: "This reform would have been law in December 2010, except that then-incoming House leaders asked Senate allies to place an anonymous hold blocking final enactment … on grounds that they would produce a better reform. It is past time to prove it. The House won the last election on a pledge to reduce government waste, fraud and abuse. That commitment has rung hollow, as there has been no action to protect those who risk their professional lives to stand against federal wrongdoing. What are they waiting for?"