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Groups Urge Issa to Renew Support for Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act

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December 16, 2010

For Immediate Release
Contact: Angela Canterbury Email address removed" target="_blank">Email address removed or Danielle Brian Email address removed" target="_blank">Email address removed (202) 347-1122

Groups Urge Issa to Renew Support
for Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act

POGO, along with a coalition of groups spanning a wide ideological spectrum, just sent a letter to Representative Darrell Issa (D-CA), calling on him to renew his support for swift enactment of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (S. 372). The letter is here:

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POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian expressed deep disappointment upon learning, as reported in The Washington Post this morning, that Mr. Issa wants to delay passage of S. 372.

"This should be a no-brainer for the incoming Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee," said Brian. "As the Senate showed when it passed the bill by unanimous consent, this isn't a liberal or conservative issue--it's a common-sense good government measure. It will only make it easier for Rep. Issa to conduct vigorous congressional oversight in the next session."

In an article in The Washington Post published today, a spokesperson for Mr. Issa cited "new areas of concern that have been raised by the WikiLeaks [disclosures]," and said Mr. Issa thinks S. 372 should be considered when the Republicans control the House next year. But as pointed out in today's letter, "Many issues that have been raised by WikiLeaks have nothing to do with this bill and efforts to draw a connection between WikiLeaks and this good government measure are misguided....S. 372 is an anti-leaks measure."

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As noted in the letter, "The WPEA has been exhaustively considered, with three House and Senate hearings since 2006, and seven months of minute negotiations with the minority staff of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, satisfying all concerns raised by Intelligence Committee staff.

In addition to preventing leaks, S. 372 will strengthen national security and will finally provide federal employees who expose waste, fraud, and abuse with the protections they deserve. For more information on S. 372, see the S. 372 and WikiLeaks fact sheet.

Time is running out in the effort to pass this critical piece of legislation--which has been in the making for over a decade--and Mr. Issa's support is essential.

Issa received POGO's Good Government Award earlier this year. But as the letter states:

"As incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, you will rely heavily on federal workers willing to blow the whistle on waste, fraud and abuse. But the message you have sent today to whistleblowers and would-be-whistleblowers is that they will not be protected."

Nearly 100 groups sent a letter urging the House to pass the bill earlier this week.

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Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO's investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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