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Tue Jun 16, 2020, 03:29 PM

'Just What the Doctor Ordered': Bill Would Protect Whistleblowers Who Sound Alarm Over Abuse of Covi

Published on
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
by Common Dreams

"This is a major step forward."

by Eoin Higgins, staff writer

Transparency advocates welcomed the introduction of a new bill by Democratic lawmakers specifically designed to protect whistleblowers who expose corruption or fraud related to the allocation or use of federal coronavirus relief funds.

The bicameral bill, introduced Monday by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) in the Senate along with Reps. Jackie Spier (D-Calif.) and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) in the House, aims to open the door to ensuring those with information on the money can speak out without fear of reprisals.

"The Covid-19 Whistleblower Protection Act is just what the doctor ordered for accountability of stimulus spending programs, whether the funding is to save lives or save businesses," said Government Accountability Project legal director Tom Devine. "Inspectors General credit whistleblower protection in the 2009 stimulus bill for minimizing fraud, waste and abuse when the government injected hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy. Now that the government is injecting trillions, whistleblowers are more essential than ever as the human factor that is America’s best weapon against corruption."

The dispersal of coronavirus relief funds from stimulus packages passed by Congress in response to the economic crisis sparked by the pandemic has been a source of frustration and anger for Democrats and progressives who have found Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's secrecy around the allocation of over $500 billion in government cash confounding. Monday's bill aims to open the door to ensuring those with information on the money can speak out without fear of reprisals.


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