WASHINGTON — Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) chairman and ranking member, of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statements after the Senate passed the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) Reauthorization Act of 2017 on Tuesday night.
“Protecting federal employees who blow the whistle on waste, fraud and abuse has been a top priority for me as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. This bill will help the Office of Special Counsel right the wrongs committed against federal whistleblowers, and it will ensure that federal agencies are taking steps to correct and prevent whistleblower retaliation. I applaud my colleagues in the Senate for working to protect whistleblowers and reauthorize the Office of Special Counsel. I also encourage them to continue this bipartisan momentum by confirming Henry Kerner to lead this important office,” said Chairman Johnson.
“I’m glad to join with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to protect whistleblowers, who are on the front lines of the fight to cut down on waste, fraud, and abuse,” said Ranking Member McCaskill. “It takes tremendous courage for whistleblowers to come forward, and giving them the protections they need helps ensure we can protect taxpayer dollars.”
“Whistleblowers often face retaliation from within their own ranks for simply trying to call attention to problems in government. The Office of Special Counsel is critical to protecting whistleblowers from reprisal and holding retaliators accountable. This bill helps to ensure the office can continue to support patriotic whistleblowers and to encourage more employees to speak out when they witness fraud, waste or misconduct in government. I’m grateful for the work of my colleagues and the full Senate for recognizing the important role this office plays in improving government,” said Chairman Grassley.
The Office of Special Counsel is an independent agency that investigates and prosecutes cases for whistleblowers, protecting federal employees from prohibited personnel practices. This bipartisan legislation clarifies the OSC’s access to government records needed to conduct its investigations, and it improves protections for whistleblowers.