The Whistleblower “Improvement” Act H.R. 2483 Bad for Whistleblowers!

Whistleblower Cat thinks the Whistleblower "Improvement Act is a big joke that's bad for whistleblowers, cats and Americans. Photo Credit: Sofia by kaibara87 on flickr cc

Whistleblower Cat thinks the Whistleblower "Improvement Act is a big joke that's bad for whistleblowers, cats and Americans. Photo Credit: Sofia by kaibara87 on flickr cc

The Deceptive Use of Language Again

The so-called Whistleblower “Improvement” Act, H.R. 2483 does nothing to help Whistleblowers. Instead this bill would force a Whistleblower to first talk to their employer before contacting a Federal Agency for assistance. That’s like saying a battered person must first tell the batterer that they are calling them out. Not always the best thing to do considering the track record of those who abuse.

Let’s take a look at who sponsored this horrible piece of legislation which by the way has already left the gate because the Sub-Committee from which it was spawned has now passed it on to the Full Committee for both the House Financial Services Committee and the House Agriculture Committee.

The main sponsor of this bill is Rep. Michael G. Grimm (R-NY). Here is a segment of the summary from Thomas.loc.gov:

SUMMARY AS OF:
7/11/2011–Introduced.

“Whistleblower Improvement Act of 2011 – Amends the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Commodity Exchange Act to require a whistleblower employee, as a prerequisite to eligibility for a whistleblower award, to: (1) first report information relating to misconduct to his or her employer before reporting it to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and (2) report such information to the SEC within 180 days after reporting it to the employer.

Prohibits a whistleblower award to any whistleblower who fails to report the relevant information to his or her employer first, unless: (1) the employer lacks either a policy prohibiting retaliation for reporting potential misconduct or an internal reporting system allowing for anonymous reporting, or (2) the SEC determines that internal reporting was not a viable option.”

Perhaps Rep. Michael Grimm and his 5 other co-sponsors of this horrible bill which has no business being labeled “Whistleblower Improvement Act” do not understand the meaning of whistleblower because this bill makes it near impossible for a real whistleblower to have any incentive to come forward to report wrongdoing.

Someone needs to give Rep. Michael Grimm (NY), Rep. John Campbell (CA), Rep. Bill Flores (TX), Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ), Rep. Donald Manzullo (IL) and Rep. Steve Stivers (OH) a dictionary. Here is the definition of whistleblower:

“Whistleblower: One who reveals wrongdoing within an organization to the public or to those in positions of authority.”

Let’s use a hypothetical example: What would have happened if a Whistleblower at Citigroup had informed Citigroup that it was possibly purposely selling junk mortgage-backed securities to its customers? Do you think Citigroup would handle that information well?

Funny thing, it just so happens that Citigroup Inc. is being sued by Loreley Financing “over nearly $1 billion worth of collateralized debt obligations purchased in 2006 and 2007. Citigroup is accused of defrauding Loreley into purchasing “fraudulent investments that are now worthless,” Loreley said in a complaint filed Tuesday in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.” See Reuters article on Huffington Post.

The sponsors of the so-called Whistleblower Improvement Act H.R. 2483  have crafted a bill that basically undermines the Whistleblower and protects the potential Wrongdoer. Now does that sound like a bill that should be passed? No. If this bill gets out of the main committees, one must ask who benefits by passage of this Orwellian sounding bill possibly named by Frank Luntz because people like the word “improvement”. The only thing this bill “improves” are the chances that those that a whistleblower might want to blow the whistle on get away with whatever they are doing.

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One Response to The Whistleblower “Improvement” Act H.R. 2483 Bad for Whistleblowers!

  1. jacksmith says:

    REALITY!! And A Fix for Unemployment, Homelessness and Hunger

    In addition to fixing healthcare the right way we need a NewDeal. We need a permanent and updated FDR WPA (Works Progress Administration). A Full employment act requiring the government to provide a job for everyone able to work that wants to work at a living wage or better. At safe, meaningful work where they live. Guaranteed by the US government. With free or very affordable excellent healthcare and free or very affordable education and training for advancement or just personal enrichment.

    ( http://my.firedoglake.com/iflizwerequeen/2011/05/16/how-about-a-little-truth-about-what-the-majority-want-for-health-care/ )

    ( Gov. Peter Shumlin: Real Healthcare reform — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yFUbkVCsZ4 )

    ( Health Care Budget Deficit Calculator — http://www.cepr.net/calculators/hc/hc-calculator.html )

    ( Briefing: Dean Baker on Boosting the Economy by Saving Healthcare http://t.co/fmVz8nM )

    START NOW!

    As you all know. Had congress passed a single-payer or government-run robust Public Option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one, our economy and jobs would have taken off like a rocket. And still will. Single-payer would be best. But a government-run robust Public Option CHOICE! that can lead to a single-payer system is the least you can accept. It’s not about competing with for-profit healthcare and for-profit health insurance. It’s about replacing it with Universal Healthcare Assurance. Everyone knows this now.

    The message from the midterm elections was clear. The American people want real healthcare reform. They want that individual mandate requiring them to buy private health insurance abolished. And they want a government-run robust public option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one. And they want it now.

    They want Drug re-importation, and abolishment, or strong restrictions on patents for biologic and prescription drugs. And government controlled and negotiated drug and medical cost. They want back control of their healthcare system from the Medical Industrial Complex. And they want it NOW!

    THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL NOT, AND MUST NOT, ALLOW AN INDIVIDUAL MANDATE TO STAND WITHOUT A STRONG GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE! AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE.

    For-profit health insurance is extremely unethical, and morally repugnant. It’s as morally repugnant as slavery was. And few if any decent Americans are going to allow them-self to be compelled to support such an unethical and immoral crime against humanity.

    This is a matter of National and Global security. There can be NO MORE EXCUSES.

    Further, we want that corrupt, undemocratic filibuster abolished. Whats the point of an election if one corrupt member of congress can block the will of the people, and any legislation the majority wants. And do it in secret. Give me a break people.

    Also, unemployment healthcare benefits are critically needed. But they should be provided through the Medicare program at cost, less the 65% government premium subsidy provided now to private for profit health insurance.

    Congress should stop wasting hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money on private for profit health insurance subsidies. Subsidies that cost the taxpayer 10x as much or more than Medicare does. Private for profit health insurance plans cost more. But provide dangerous and poorer quality patient care.

    Republicans: GET RID OF THE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE.

    Democrats: ADD A ROBUST GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION TO HEALTHCARE REFORM.

    This is what the American people are shouting at you. Both parties have just enough power now to do what the American people want. GET! IT! DONE! NOW!

    If congress does not abolish the individual mandate. And establish a government-run public option CHOICE! before the end of 2011. EVERY! member of congress up for reelection in 2012 will face strong progressive pro public option, and anti-individual mandate replacement candidates.

    Strong progressive pro “PUBLIC OPTION” CHOICE! and anti-individual mandate volunteer candidates should begin now. And start the process of replacing any and all members of congress that obstruct, or fail to add a government-run robust PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE! before the end of 2011.

    We need two or three very strong progressive volunteer candidates for every member of congress that will be up for reelection in 2012. You should be fully prepared to politically EVISCERATE EVERY INCUMBENT that fails or obstructs “THE PUBLIC OPTION”. And you should be willing to step aside and support the strongest pro “PUBLIC OPTION” candidate if the need arises.

    ASSUME CONGRESS WILL FAIL and SELLOUT again. So start preparing now to CUT THEIR POLITICAL THROATS. You can always step aside if they succeed. But only if they succeed. We didn’t have much time to prepare before these past midterm elections. So the American people had to use a political shotgun approach. But by 2012 you will have a scalpel.

    Congress could have passed a robust government-run public option during it’s lame duck session. They knew what the American people wanted. They already had several bills on record. And the house had already passed a public option. Departing members could have left with a truly great accomplishment. And the rest of you could have solidified your job before the 2012 elections.

    President Obama, you promised the American people a strong public option available to everyone. And the American people overwhelmingly supported you for it. Maybe it just wasn’t possible before. But it is now.

    Knock heads. Threaten people. Or do whatever you have to. We will support you. But get us that robust public option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one before the end of 2011. Or We The People Of The United States will make the past midterm election look like a cake walk in 2012. And it will include you.

    We still have a healthcare crisis in America. With hundreds of thousands dieing needlessly every year in America. And a for profit medical industrial complex that threatens the security and health of the entire world. They have already attacked the world with H1N1 killing thousands, and injuring millions. And more attacks are planned for profit, and to feed their greed.

    Spread the word people.

    Progressives, prepare the American peoples scalpels. It’s time to remove some politically diseased tissues.

    God Bless You my fellow human beings. I’m proud to be one of you. You did good.

    See you on the battle field.

    Sincerely

    jacksmith – WorkingClass :-)

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