House sends whistleblower bill to Trump
WASHINGTON — Congress voted Thursday to boost the protection of federal whistleblowers from retaliation, part of a bid to uncover bad behavior at the Department of Veterans Affairs and other government agencies.
The House easily cleared the bill, 420-0. It now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature, having previously passed the Senate in May.
The measure would extend whistleblower protections to federal employees who are in probationary periods and provide training to ensure workers know their rights. It also establishes minimum disciplinary standards for supervisors who retaliate against employees for seeking to disclose wrongdoing.
The legislation, introduced by Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., is named after Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick, a psychologist at the VA Medical Center in Tomah, Wis. Kirkpatrick committed suicide in 2009 on the day he was fired by the VA for questioning the overmedication of veterans. A VA investigation later found Kirkpatrick’s concerns had been warranted.
Shamsa Ashraf (left), principal of Islamic Faith Academy, answers questions Thursday from librarian Christine Forisha during the “Human Library” event at the Muntz Library at the University of Texas at Tyler.