An article posted on Federal Times reports on renewed efforts to enhance whistleblower protections for federal employees. Reporter Elise Castelli quotes a statement by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) that, “It is essential we ensure accountability and transparency in government in order to protect taxpayers.”
Rep. Van Hollen blamed Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) for yanking the provision from the stimulus bill. Castelli elicited this response from a spokesman for Collins, “During negotiations of the economic stimulus legislation … the decision was made by all negotiators — Democrats and Republicans — that … the significant differences between the House and Senate versions of this legislation should be ironed out by the appropriate committees.” The spokesman, Kevin Kelley, added,
“Senator Collins has been a leading advocate in Congress for strengthened federal whistleblower protections.”
Sen. Collins could show her leadership on this issue now. We need Senators to come forward and say that they believe all federal employees should have the best whistleblower protections available. In our society, that means access to jury trials.