Expecting More Transparency with New Congress? | Don’t Bet on it, Whistle Blower Bill Fails

Bill to empower whistleblowers fails to pass Senate

R. Jeffrey Smith|Washington Post

"The senator who sabotaged this bill should come out of the closet. Good government groups want to give him the 2010 Friend of Fraud, Waste and Abuse Award," Devine said. He promised a "relentless search to find the politician who is a cowardly enemy of taxpayers."

A bill giving federal employees expanded protections against retaliation for blowing the whistle on waste, fraud and abuse died in Congress on Wednesday night, after a 12-year lobbying effort won last-minute unanimous approval for it in the House but failed to gain similar approval under special voting rules in the Senate.

A single unnamed senator put a hold on the bill, which had already passed the Senate by voice vote in a more controversial form, just before the chamber adjourned for the Christmas holiday. That decision denied the Obama administration – and many Republican supporters – a victory that accountability advocates have long sought.

The aim of the legislation was to bolster incentives for federal workers to put a halt to wrongdoing by making protected disclosures to their superiors, Congress or the public. Those who work at borders, airports and nuclear facilities, as well as law enforcement agencies such as the FBI, would be among those covered.

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Expecting More Transparency with New Congress? | Don’t Bet on it, Whistle Blower Bill Fails