On the 25th anniversary of the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, co-author Senator Grassley announced that he would be seeking to form a new whistleblower caucus among colleagues in the Senate. In an address on the Senate floor the same day, Senator Grassley explained that “[w]histleblower protections are only worth anything if they’re enforced. Just because we’ve passed good laws does not mean we can stop paying attention to the issue.”
Senator Grassley has played an instrumental role with respect to whistleblower protections. Some efforts have been quite impactful, including: the amendment of the False Claims Act, reported to have generated over $40 billion in savings to taxpayers since 1986 and $1.9 billion to whistleblowers from the DOJ since 2009; the 2006 amendments to the IRS whistleblower program (we discussed the 2013 annual report earlier this month); and recent amendments to the Whistleblower Protection Act.
A goal of the caucus is to “send the message” that Congress expects a culture of understanding and respect for whistleblowers. Senator Grassley expects the caucus to take shape over the next six months with an official start in the 114th Congress in January 2015.