Whistleblower bill draws lobbying

flickr user stevendepolo

A bill that critics warn weakens whistleblower protections quietly moved through a House subcommittee last month and now has supporters like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce pushing the full committee to quickly pass it.

The Whistleblower Improvement Act of 2011, introduced by Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), would require whistleblowers, with some exceptions, to report criminal activity internally in addition to filing a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Supporters of the bill say the internal reports allow companies to stop criminal activity early, relieving the pressure on an overburdened SEC that is failing to address complaints. The House Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises passed the bill last month, moving it to the full Financial Services Committee.

Tom Quaadman, the vice president of the Chamber's Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, said he could not discuss the specifics of the Chamber's strategy, but described it as a "shoe-leather lobbying campaign." The Chamber has partnered with organizations like the Retail Industry Leaders Association and corporations like AT&T and UPS to explain to SEC officials the problems with current whistleblower rules.

Quaadman acknowledged that the bill, if it gets out of the House, faces a tougher road in the Senate. That has allowed the bill's opponents to relax a bit so far, but a coalition of groups is ready to launch a major counter-campaign if the bill starts gaining momentum, said Angela Canterbury, the Project on Government Oversight's public policy director.

She said the bill's progress was a "response to industry pressure."

The bill's critics, including POGO, the AFL-CIO and Americans for Financial Reform, also wrote a letter to lawmakers warning of its impact on whistleblower protections.

The bill, the letter said, "is an extreme approach that would silence would-be whistleblowers, endanger critical inside informants, undermine investigations, hamstring enforcement at the SEC and [Commodity Futures Trading Commission], and provide lawbreaking financial firms with an escape hatch from accountability."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.