FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 9, 2021

Government Accountability Project Praises House of Representatives for the Passage of the Protecting Our Democracy Act

Act Includes Essential Whistleblower Protections

Washington Today, Government Accountability Project praises the House of Representatives for passing the Protecting Our Democracy Act (PODA). This legislation gives Congress more oversight over the executive branch following the egregious abuse of power experienced under the previous administration. The passage of PODA brings with it the essential Whistleblower Protection Improvement Act (WPIA), which gives federal employees who speak out against waste, fraud, or abuse the same rights as federal contractors, like the right to a jury trial to seek justice against retaliation, among many others.

Under the previous administration, our nation witnessed how a president could abuse the powers of their office to protect and enrich themselves and their family and friends, target their political opponents, and solicit foreign interference to help their election – all at great cost to our democracy. Now, the House has passed new nonpartisan laws and reforms to strengthen our democratic institutions against future presidents – both Democrats and Republicans – who seek to undermine them.

The provisions within PODA:

  • Reinforce Congress’ power to enforce subpoenas, to make government funding decisions, and to conduct oversight over the executive branch;
  • Prevent the president from granting pardons to family, friends, or themselves, or from using the office to enrich themselves, or utilizing government resources for campaign purposes;
  • Explicitly prohibit political campaigns and parties from soliciting or accepting foreign assistance to influence an election;
  • Give whistleblowers and all employees who communicate with Congress a jury trial in court to seek justice against retaliation if they do not receive a timely administrative ruling, a due process right available to nearly the entire private sector;
  • Allow federal whistleblowers to challenge retaliatory investigations when opened, the same as corporate, state and local employees;
  • Provide realistic standards for temporary relief, necessary because cases often drag out for five to ten years; and
  • Add teeth to frequently ignored confidentiality rights.

As the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization, Government Accountability Project not only legally represents whistleblowers but also has a stake in the laws that could either protect or undermine a whistleblower’s heroic disclosure. With the passage of PODA and WPIA, it is clear that members of the House share our aspiration for transparency and accountability in our government as federal employees are the first line of defense against those that corrode our democratic systems.

Government Accountability Project’s CEO and Executive Director Louis Clark commented:

“This reform legislation when enacted will finally provide the type of support for federal employee whistleblowers that we have sought for over forty years and that recent polls indicate the public is demanding as well by overwhelming percentages. Whistleblowers are and with this help will remain true agents of accountability and integrity.”

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Contact: Andrew Harman, Communications Director
Email: andrewh@whistleblower.org
Phone: (202) 926-3304

Government Accountability Project

Government Accountability Project is the nation’s leading whistleblower protection organization. Through litigating whistleblower cases, publicizing concerns and developing legal reforms, Government Accountability Project’s mission is to protect the public interest by promoting government and corporate accountability. Founded in 1977, Government Accountability Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C.