Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has been a longtime supporter of whistleblowers and was instrumental in the 1986 modernization of the False Claims Act, one of the most powerful whistleblower laws. Grassley will give a keynote speech at the National Whistleblower Center’s (NWC) National Whistleblower Day celebration.
Grassley reaffirmed his commitment to fighting for whistleblowers and whistleblower issues in a July 22 question and answer session. He discussed his determination for making sure taxpayer dollars aren’t used in wasteful ways. “Without robust oversight, taxpayer dollars get squandered through wasteful spending, fraud and mismanagement as they make their way through the sprawling federal bureaucracy,” Grassley says.
“Without question, information provided to my office from whistleblowers helps me do my job protecting taxpayer dollars, veterans programs and nuclear safety,” Grassley states. “It takes a lot of guts for whistleblowers to stick their necks out to report wrongdoing. That’s why I’ve led a crusade to enact whistleblower protections and incentives into law that empower them to come forward without fear of retribution or reprisal.” He highlights the more than $70 billion dollars that have been recovered in False Claims Act settlements and judgments and mentions the power of the qui tam, or whistleblower, provision in the Act. Grassley also mentions healthcare, an area where the False Claims Act has recently been particularly powerful in rooting out fraud and misconduct.
“As long as I’m serving in the U.S. Senate, I’ll continue championing brave truth-tellers who courageously report misdeeds to save taxpayer dollars and strengthen government programs intended to serve the public,” Grassley states.
He also discusses his efforts to reform the IRS whistleblower program, explaining how current inflation is harming Americans and that “tax cheats who don’t pay their taxes create a bigger burden on law-abiding Americans to foot the bill.”
Grassley, who was behind the 2006 legislation to modernize the IRS Whistleblower Program, introduced the IRS Whistleblower Program Improvement Act of 2021 alongside Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). The bill is supported by whistleblower advocacy groups, and in the question and answer session, Grassley explains that the bill “would provide additional protections to whistleblowers who appeal their cases to tax court and exempt whistleblower awards from budget sequestration to ensure they receive the full amount they are owed for coming forward with the information that helped identify tax cheats and free loaders.”
Grassley is also sponsoring a bill which makes fixes to the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (AML Act). The AML Act established a whistleblower reward system for individuals who report money laundering but has been criticized by whistleblower advocates as lacking key aspects of successful whistleblower reward laws.
Grassley’s keynote speech for National Whistleblower Day will take place on Thursday, July 28 at 5pm EST. He will touch upon the different whistleblower legislation he is sponsoring and advocate for its passage. Registration for National Whistleblower Day is free: RSVP here!