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Protecting Whistleblowers since 1977

House Launches Bipartisan Whistleblower Protection Caucus

April 26, 2016
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Bicameral caucuses pave the way for unprecedented congressional support of whistleblowing

WASHINGTON – The Government Accountability Project and leading members of the Make It Safe Coalition applaud today’s launch of the bipartisan House Whistleblower Protection Caucus. Caucus co-chairs include Representatives Kathleen Rice of New York, Mike Coffman of Colorado, Jackie Speier of California and Rod Blum of Iowa.

Whistleblower protections have historically enjoyed bipartisan support, as demonstrated through unanimous passage of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012. Still, whistleblowers risk their professional and at times personal freedom when they disclose government misconduct.

In a letter to the Caucus co-chairs, GAP, Liberty Coalition, Project On Government Oversight, Public Citizen, National Taxpayers Union, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, and the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Center for Science and Democracy acknowledged the importance of their leadership -

Whether the issue is VA oversight or consumer protections, whistleblowing disclosures are one of the most effective tools to promote government accountability and protect the public. Whistleblowers are Congress’s eyes and ears to detect abuses of power that betray the public trust, and they serve as indispensable witnesses during oversight hearings  … Your leadership in the caucus sends a clear message to taxpayers that you are committed to effective bipartisan oversight in order to fight waste, fraud, abuse, and public health or safety threats.

Similar to the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus, founded by Senators Charles Grassley of Iowa and Ron Wyden of Oregon in 2015, the Caucus aims to be a resource for House offices that grapple with whistleblower-related issues or are interested in promoting greater whistleblower protections. Among other activities, it will 1) bring together a bi-partisan coalition of like-minded Representatives to help draw attention to the need for whistleblower protections, 2) offer training and consultation in how Member offices can effectively respond to whistleblower disclosures or retaliation allegations, and 3) serve as a clearinghouse for current information on whistleblower issues of interest to the House of Representatives.

GAP legislative director Shanna Devine expressed further support, “Despite a period of extreme partisanship, Congress is banding together to create a foundation of support for employees who commit the truth.” She added, “The House Whistleblower Protection Caucus is the latest action in a cultural sea change toward whistleblowers; since the start of the 114th Congress, more than a tenth of the Senate has joined its companion caucus.”

The full letter can be viewed here.

CONTACT:
Shanna Devine, GAP Legislative Director
202-457-0034 EXT. 132
shannad@whistleblower.org

Government Accountability Project

The Government Accountability Project is the nation's leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, GAP's mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, GAP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.

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