Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Crooks Win Again...Secret Senator Blocks Whistle-blower Bill

The Washington Post reported last week that after 12 years of lobbying the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (S.372), which had already passed the House of Representatives, was put on hold by a single unnamed senator using a secret hold!

Somebody please, I beg you, explain to me HOW a bill that has already passed the House (and the Senate via voice vote in a more controversial form) failed because ONE cowardly senator objected to it? Do you need any further proof that the system is broken?

Here is what this bill was supposed to do, according to the Washington Post:

"The bill specifically protected disclosures related to unlawful acts, regulatory violations, abuses of authority, dangers to public health and any gross mismanagement or gross waste of funds, so long as the whistleblower had substantial evidence to back a claim. It would have reversed hundreds of legal rulings that advocates say have gutted whistleblower rights, including some that barred protection for disclosures to co-workers or the person responsible for wrongdoing.

It also contained provisions specifically meant to protect against retaliation for the disclosure of any manipulation of scientific data, and, for the first time, would have allowed those who suffer alleged retaliation to request a jury trial in federal courts across the country. They now can get a hearing only before a single court in Washington that many advocates view as hostile to federal workers rights."

Well no wonder it was blocked in secret, it increases transparency and accountability. Can't have that.

I wouldn't be surprised if everybody who voted for it publicly, railed against it in secret and devised this strategy that gives them the best of both worlds. They can claim they voted for this bill in front of their constituents and the media and , at the same time, are spared the ramifications of the bill actually becoming law. 

How else can you explain how one senator derailed all the other Senators' and Representatives' work and will? 

From the article:

"This holiday season Senate Republicans gave taxpayers a secret Scrooge. After unanimous House approval today, and unanimous Senate approval last month of a stronger bill, this evening an anonymous Senate Republican killed the reform through a secret hold," said Thomas Devine, legal director of the nonprofit Government Accountability Project.

"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."

Well said. I say don't bother searching, just give the award to all members of Congress, both House and Senate. They deserve it.

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