2011-02-14nytimes.com

All those Capitol budget hawks searching out waste, fraud and abuse should first find out why some mystery lawmaker killed a long-needed whistle-blower protection bill in the final hours of the last Congress.

The measure would have greatly bolstered Washington’s ability to recoup wasted multimillions by encouraging government workers to alert superiors to how bad things really are and guaranteeing that they won’t be punished for doing the right thing.

Both houses unanimously approved versions of whistle-blower protection in the lame-duck Congress in December. But just as the final compromise was about to pass, the 12-year campaign was snuffed out by a still unknown senator exercising an anonymous hold. The Senate could use its own whistle-blower right now to let the taxpayers and voters know who is to blame.

...

The measure, which should also be a no-brainer for the Capitol’s new Tea Party ethic, would strengthen the free speech and due process rights of whistle-blowers. It would allow jury trials for documenting bureaucratic retaliations and enlarge the covered agencies to include airport baggage screeners, nuclear plant workers and other vital jobs.

We can't imagine this would have happened if all legislative activity had to be open and transparently connected to its sponsor/author/procedural movant.


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