WASHINGTON, DC - Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) released the following statement after President Obama issued a presidential signing statement that would make ineffective language in the National Defense Authorization Act to protect whistleblowers who are employed by government contractors or subcontractors.
“The President’s objection to whistleblower protections for private sector employees who expose waste, fraud, and abuse in government programs is deeply disturbing. These protections, based on bipartisan legislation I introduced in the House, were passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the House and Senate. Congress has the authority and responsibility to oversee the operations of the executive branch. It is our duty to ensure the laws we create are faithfully executed, and that taxpayer dollars are used responsibly.
“It is because of the brave actions of contractor employees like James Brady that taxpayers were able to recover $80 million in fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan. Without whistleblowers, Congress cannot effectively perform our constitutionally implied oversight obligations. I will continue to work with my colleagues to create more protections for individuals who can help us to identify waste, fraud, and abuse.”