Whistleblower legislation supported by New Media Rights passes in the Senate

New Media Rights joined the call for stronger whistleblower protection by supporting S. 372 over the last few months with our friends from the Government Accountability Project and numerous other public interest organizations.   Last Friday, the Senate unanimously approved the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (S. 372), bringing us closer to achieving enhanced whistleblower protections than ever before. The House could vote on the bill as early as tomorrow. The letter included here encourages the House of Representatives to protect Whistleblowers and Taxpayers by passing this legislation.

As the debates surrounding the future of speech on the Internet continue, it is important to recognize the important role that whistleblowers play in exposing corruption, waste, and fraud in our governments and corporations.

To Help Pass Whistleblower Protections in the House of Representatives sign this petition.


An Open Letter to Members of the House of Representatives:

Ensure that the Bipartisan Reforms Long Supported by the House

Become Law This Year. Passing S. 372 Will Protect Both Whistleblowers and Taxpayers


               For the past two Congresses, the House of Representatives has passed, with strong bipartisan support, reform legislation that protects federal employees who blow the whistle on waste, fraud and abuse.  This year, bipartisan support for these reforms advanced in the Senate, and late last week the Senate unanimously approved S. 372, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act.   This legislation, which reflects a true compromise between Senate and House versions of whistleblower reform, must become law this year.


             In no time in our history is whistleblower reform more crucial: This country must address our growing federal debt and cannot afford to tolerate waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government.  With this crisis looming, we urge you to fulfill your commitments to taxpayers and pass S. 372.


                Protecting whistleblowers is a reform that has strong support across ideological lines.  The groups on this letter are united in this urgent request that federal employees, the foot soldiers in the war on waste, fraud and abuse, get the protections they deserve.  They must be able to fight back when they are fired, harassed or demoted in retaliation for their efforts to protect the public health and safety and taxpayer dollars.


               Unfortunately, under current law the Merit Systems Protection Board rules against 99% of whistleblowers who file suit to defend themselves against retaliation.  Fear of committing career suicide leads federal workers to become silent observers when they witness fraud, waste or abuse.  Congress can and must enact a whistleblower reform law that ensures that federal whistleblowers who are punished for speaking the truth have the tools they need to fight subsequent retaliation, and win.  Congress must significantly strengthen these protections, but time is running short.  Passage of the pending Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (S. 372) must be a priority for the House in the lame duck.


              We know that whistleblowers save money.  Each year, whistleblower lawsuits under the False Claims Act save taxpayers nearly one billion dollars.  A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study of corporations globally found that employee disclosures were responsible for detection of more fraud than auditors, internal compliance officers , wand law enforcement combined.


             While S. 372 does not include every reform that our community has sought, it will dramatically improve the status quo—for whistleblowers and taxpayers.  Please do not delay in making this whistleblower protection legislation with strong bipartisan.   support law.  If you are serious about responding to American voters, reducing the debt, and ensuring the integrity of government, you will do all you can to make whistleblower reform a reality this year.


Sincerely,


Affiliation of Christian Engineers

AFGE Council 238 (U.S. EPA AFGE Locals)

American Association of Law Libraries

American Civil Liberties Union

American Federation of Government Employees

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

Association of American Publishers

Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now 8 (ACORN 8)

Bill of Rights Defense Committee

Black Autonomy Network Community Organization (BANCO)

C-10 Research and Education Foundation

Center for Biological Diversity

Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest

CERES, the Center for Environmental Research and Education thru Synergy

Citizen Power

Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger

Colorado Clean Water Advocates

Concerned Citizens of Petersburg

CROP PLUS (Concerned Residents of Portland, NY + People Like Us)

Custom Employees Against Discrimination Association (CEADA)

DC Employment Justice Center

Delaware Action Group

Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO

Disaster Accountability Project

Energy Justice Network

Environmental Working Group

FAA Whistleblowers Alliance

Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association

Federation of American Scientists

Focus on Indiana

Food Not Bombs

Fort Worth Citizens Against Neighborhood Drilling Operations

Foundation for Global Community

Fund for Constitutional Government

Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives

Global Warming Education Network

Government Accountability Project

Green Party of Pennsylvania

Greenpeace

Greenwich Citizens Committee, Inc.

Health Integrity Project

Help Abolish Legal Tyranny (HALT)

Help For Sewage Victims

Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings

Implode-Explode Heavy Industry, Inc.

International Association of Whistleblowers

International Medical Council on Vaccinations

Media Alliance

MidlandCares

MPD PRODUCTIONS, INC.

National Coalition of Organized Women

National Family Farm Coalition

National Forum On Judicial Accountability

National Judicial Conduct and Disability Law Project, Inc.

National Religious Campaign Against Torture

National Taxpayers Union

National Treasury Employees Union

New Media Rights

New Mexico Environmental Law Center

New Orleans Women's Shelter

Nuclear Watch South

OAK - Organizations Associating for the Kind of Change America Really Needs

OMB Watch

OpenTheGovernment.org

Oregon Wildlife Federation

PCP PRIDE (People Rising in Defense of Ecology)

POPULAR, Inc. - Power Over Poverty Under Laws of America Restored    

Private Citizen, Inc.

Project On Government Oversight

Public Citizen

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility

Responsible Charge

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace  

Santa Monicans For Safe Drinking Water Coalition

Scientists for Indigenous People

Semmelweis Society International

Sustainable Energy and Economy Network

Tax Justice Network USA

Terra Foundation

Texas Campaign for the Environment

Texas Injured Workers

The Ecology Party of Florida

The Employment Law Group

The Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance

Trivalley Cares

Union of Concerned Scientists

Voices for Corporate Responsibility

Workplace Fairness

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