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July 31, 2002

Bush Already Gutting Corp Reform Bill

Absolutely no shame-- within hours of signing the damn bill and trumpeting his tough new attitude on corporate crime, Bush indicated his administration would narrowly enforce the whistleblower protections for corporate employees who tip off Congressional investigators of abuses.

Bush released a statement that said that whistleblowers giving Congress information on corporate abuses before an official investigation has been authorized by Congress would have no protection against retaliation under the new law. Since such whistleblowing is exactly what often helps launch Congressional investigations, Bush is trying to rip the heart out of the whistleblower protections.

"If that is how the administration intends to enforce the new whistle-blower law, that would be a roll back of what Congress intended. The language is clear and the language is plain, that Congress intends full protection of whistle-blowers whether or not an active investigation is underway at the time."
This from David Carle, aide to Senator Leahy who drafted the language involved.

Update: The text at issue is section 806 of the new law, which is at a pdf file here. (Thanks Sam)

Addendum: Of course, this is consistent with Bush's hostility to protection of whistleblowers in government as well, since he is resolutely opposing the right of employees to safely speak out against neglect and malfeasance in the new Homeland Security Department. See the Corporate Accountability Project or my own "Homeland Security as Union Busting" at the Progressive Populist.

Posted by Nathan at July 31, 2002 08:31 AM

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