Today Senator Charles Grassley, the leading champion of whistleblower protection on Capitol Hill, announced that the formation of a Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus at the start of the 114thCongress. Later today he will give a speech on the floor of the Senate to highlight the importance of whistleblowers to government operations and to encourage his fellow senators to join him in the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus.
Senator Grassley’s speech marks the 25th Anniversary of the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 and calls for stronger laws to ensure whistleblower are protected. Grassley said he’s creating the caucus to build a coalition of like-minded Senators who can help bring attention to the need for ongoing whistleblower protections. Over the next six months, Grassley will be discussing the caucus with colleagues and encouraging them to join with an eye on an official start in the new Congress.
The goals of the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus are to ensure “vigilant oversight” over whistleblower protection laws and to create “a culture of understanding and respecting the right to blow the whistle.”
The National Whistleblower Center released the following statement in response to Senator Grassley’s announcement:
The NWC marks the 25th Anniversary of the WPA with mixed emotions. We celebrate the tremendous work that Congress and advocacy workers have don to protect whistleblowers. The WPA would have been proven to be an important milestone in whistleblower protection if it had been properly administered.
Sadly, those who work with whistleblowers know how difficult it is to prevail in a case under the WPA despite Congress’ best intentions. Hardships and retaliation have continued to decimate civil servants who bravely step forward to expose wrongdoing.
We urge all members of Congress who are dedicated to halting the waste to taxpayer money and ensuring that government works within the law to join together in a bi-partisan effort to achieve the goals we share. We urge Senators to join the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus and urge the members of the House of Representatives to also form a similar whistleblower caucus.
Those that fight waste, fraud and abuse in government should be honored for their patriotism.