Federal Whistleblowers Need Your Help. Tell Congress to Protect Them!
Dear Whistleblower Supporter,
Do you believe in accountability for the federal government? Do you think that federal employees should have the right to report corrupt and fraudulent activities, without fear of losing their jobs? Your voice is desperately needed to help restore protections for federal whistleblowers – and the next several days are crucial! Tell your members of Congress to pass the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA)!
Over the past two decades, federal employee whistleblower rights have fallen victim to hostile judicial activism. The current protections are toothless, and have become the best reason for conscientious federal workers to turn a blind eye to all sorts of government wrongdoing – even threats to public health and safety.
How bad is the state of current protections? Right now, a federal employee is not protected from retaliation if s/he:
• is not the first person who discloses given misconduct
• makes a disclosure to a co-worker
• makes a disclosure to a supervisor
• discloses the consequences of a policy decision, or
• blows the whistle while carrying out job duties
The WPEA (S. 743) would, at a minimum, overturn these loopholes. The Government Accountability Project (GAP) and coalition partners have pressed lawmakers to include the strongest protections possible for federal whistleblowers. The WPEA will improve the status quo and not roll back any rights!
There's only a handful of working session days before Congress breaks until after the elections. We urgently need you to write your representatives today and tell them that they must pass critical whistleblower and taxpayer protections before they leave Washington.
Please sign the petition and tell your representatives to pass the WPEA before they adjourn from Washington to campaign!
Any day now, we expect Congress to take up the bipartisan Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (S. 743). We urge you to vote in favor of this bill that will provide much-needed improvements to the protections for public employees who expose waste, corruption and abuse for taxpayers.
In May, the Senate unanimously passed its version of the Act for the fourth time since 2006. I understand the bipartisan cosponsors of the bills have been working to iron out the few differences between the House and Senate versions. I also understand that the parties are close to a compromise bill that could be offered in the House as early as today. But as you know, time is short to pass this bill in the House, and then send it back to the Senate for approval before adjourning for campaigning.
Luckily, this noncontroversial bill has overwhelming support in Congress and throughout the country. More than 160 groups that represent more than 40 million taxpayers concerned with government accountability recently called on Congress again to pass the WPEA. I hope I can count on you to stand up for better government accountability for taxpayers and vote YES to fix the broken system for whistleblowers. Unfortunately, every month that the House delays passage of the bill means the public is deprived the benefit of disclosures from federal government whistleblowers about fraud, waste or abuses that could remain ongoing. On average, more than 15 whistleblowers a month lose initial decisions from administrative hearings at the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), and less than one prevails.
The Whistleblower Protection Act was last restored in 1994, and has since fallen victim to judicial activism that has created loopholes and rendered it ineffective. The MSPB found that federal whistleblowers were nine times more likely to be fired in 2010 compared to 1992. This culture of vulnerability maximizes government secrecy, which in turn breeds corruption.
It seems that so little good for our country gets done in Washington – which is deeply frustrating. We all know the government needs fixing, and this bill would undeniably help!
Before you leave Washington, please support your colleagues in urging leadership to take action on the WPEA that would do much to restore my faith in Congress, fix the government, and save taxpayer dollars. Vote YES on the WPEA and I and many other constituents back home will thank you for a job well done!
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