The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the resolution to recognize July 30, 2022, as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. July 30 marks the anniversary of the U.S.’ first whistleblower law, which was passed on July 30, 1778.
Since 2013, the U.S. Senate has unanimously passed resolutions to recognize July 30 as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. Whistleblower advocates have continually pressed for National Whistleblower Day to be made permanent. July 30, 2022 is the 244th anniversary of the first whistleblower law in the U.S.
In a press release announcing the passage of the resolution, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the chairman of the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus, emphasized the importance of supporting whistleblowers, strengthening whistleblower laws, and recognizing the important work whistleblowers do.
“Support for whistleblowers is something we can all get behind,” Grassley said in the press release. “It can and should unite every member of Congress who believes government needs to remain transparent and accountable to the people. This resolution renews our shared commitment to strengthen the nation’s whistleblower laws and protect whistleblowers when they speak up.”
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), the Caucus’ vice chairman, said in the press release, “Whistleblowers are a fail-safe for our government, who sound the alarm on waste, fraud and abuse of public resources. Congress should support the brave individuals who choose to speak out, and strengthen laws that allow them to raise issues without fear of retaliation.”
Before the resolution passed, Grassley gave remarks on the Senate floor urging his colleagues to pass the resolution. He revealed that this year’s resolution “has twenty-one cosponsors from both sides of the aisle, which is more than ever before.” Grassley noted the bipartisan nature of the issue, stating it’s not an issue that needs to be divided down party lines. Rather, “It’s just good government.”
Grassley talked about a bill he is sponsoring that makes fixes to the Anti-Money Laundering Act’s whistleblower provisions. The bill would raise the cap on whistleblower awards from 25 to 30%, “establishes a funding mechanism to ensure that the Treasury Department has funds readily available to pay whistleblowers independent of congressional appropriations,” and includes other fixes Grassley talked about on the Senate floor.
Grassley also announced that he will be announcing a bill in the coming days that affects FBI whistleblowers. “The FBI has its own separate whistleblower law that leaves authority for settling FBI whistleblower retaliation complaints to the FBI and the Justice Department,” Grassley explained. His upcoming bill “will allow FBI employees to appeal their whistleblower retaliation cases to the Merit Systems Protection Board.”
According to Grassley, this FBI whistleblower bill is co-sponsored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), John Hawley (R-MO), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).
Grassley will give a keynote speech at the National Whistleblower Center’s (NWC) National Whistleblower Day celebration. His speech 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!