Rep. Russell Whistleblower Protection Bill Passes House
Washington, DC – Yesterday, H.R. 2196, which Rep. Steve Russell (OK-5) introduced this Congress, passed the House by a voice vote. This bill amends the Whistleblower Protection Act to extend protections to disclosures of classified information to any supervisor in an employee's chain of command. Under current law, only disclosures to a direct supervisor are protected.
H.R. 2196 expands the list of individuals to whom a whistleblower may disclose information regarding a violation of law, gross mismanagement, waste of funds, abuse of authority, or danger to public health or safety. The expanded list includes the whistleblower's immediate supervisor or agency head, or an employee designated to receive such disclosures.
Rep. Russell spoke on the House Floor in support of H.R. 2196, stating: “Whistleblowers should be able to tell their supervisors when something is wrong. That is true no matter what, but especially so in cases involving classified information, which implies a matter of national security. If whistleblowers cannot make a protected disclosure to their supervisors, then they are more likely to make an illegal disclosure to people or entities without the proper security clearances. These additional protections will make it easier for employees to do the responsible thing when it comes to classified disclosures.”