House sends whistle­blower bill to Trump

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

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.

AP/Tyler Morn­ing Tele­graph/SARAH A. MILLER

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.

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