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Congressional Record: July 23, 2001 (Extensions)
Page E1396



                       HON. CONSTANCE A. MORELLA

                              of maryland

                    in the house of representatives

                         Monday, July 23, 2001

  Mrs. MORELLA. Mr. Speaker, today, I introduced legislation in 
Congress amending the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) to restore 
protections for federal employees who risk their jobs by disclosing 
waste, fraud, abuse or violations of law they witness on the job. This 
legislation is critical to restore the flow of information to Congress 
and the public about wrongdoing within the government. It is necessary 
because the original congressional intent has been partially nullified 
by certain judicial decisions. In 1989, Congress unanimously passed the 
Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) and strengthened it in 1994. The new 
bill closes judicially created loopholes that have made the law useless 
in most circumstances. Recent decisions by the Court of Appeals for the 
Federal Circuit have denied protection for disclosures made as part of 
an employee's job duties or within the chain of command. The bill 
restores coverage in over 90 percent of the situations where it counts 
most for federal workers to have free speech rights-- when they defend 
the public on the job.
  The bill also makes permanent a free speech shield known as the 
``anti-gag statute'' that Congress has passed annually for the last 13 
years. It outlaws nondisclosure rules, agreements and other forms of 
gag orders that would cancel rights in the Whistleblower Protection Act 
and other good government statutes. In particular, it upholds the 
supremacy of a long-established law that workers have a right to notice 
that information is classified as secret for national security 
interests, before they can be held liable for releasing it. The 
necessity for the bill was increased last week by passage of a little 
noticed provision in the Intelligence Authorization Act for 2001. That 
provision functionally could make whistleblowers liable for criminal 
prosecution, based on speculation that unmarked information were 
  We must reaffirm our support for whistleblowers. We made a serious 
commitment to federal workers in 1989 and Congress must ensure those 
protections stay in place. Congress must demonstrate once again its 
support for federal workers who risk everything to defend the public 
against fraud, waste, and abuse.


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