July 30, 2014

Senate Resolution Marks Day to Honor Whistleblowers

WASHINGTON – A Senate Resolution designating July 30, 2014 as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day has passed the Senate. 

The resolution was sponsored by Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden, who will be the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus when it begins next year.

The resolution comes on the anniversary of the first ever whistleblower protection law enacted on July 30, 1778.  The records of the Continental Congress show that the original resolution stated, “Resolved that it is the duty of all persons in the service of the United States … to give the earliest information to Congress or any other proper authority of any misconduct, frauds or misdemeanors committed by any persons in the services of these states, which may come to their knowledge.”

“Whistleblowers are pivotal pieces of the oversight puzzle.  Their work ensures that our system of checks and balances operates effectively.  I’ve asked Presidents to host a Rose Garden ceremony to honor these truth-tellers.  Nobody has taken me up on the suggestion, but it would do a lot of good to show these courageous Americans that, by telling the truth, they are continuing an important legacy to keep America strong,” Grassley said.

“Individuals with the courage to blow the whistle in the face of government wrongdoing, waste or abuse are an integral part of our democracy. Too often, whistleblowers risk retaliation and scorn for drawing attention to misdeeds, so it is only right for the Senate to recognize their vital contributions,” Wyden said.

Special interests continue to try to undermine whistleblower protections and the False Claims Act, despite their successes.  The False Claims Act has helped recover taxpayer money to tune of tens of billions of dollars that would otherwise have been lost to fraud. 

National Whistleblower Appreciation Day helps salute those who have stuck their necks out to identify waste, fraud and abuse despite the odds that there would likely be difficult days ahead.