House Passes Duffy-Connolly Follow the Rules Act

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Washington, May 1, 2017 | comments

Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 657, the Follow the Rules Act, legislation introduced by Representatives Sean Duffy (R-WI) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA). The bill seeks to address a misinterpretation of the Whistleblower Protection Act by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the case of Rainey v. MSPB. The legislation would clarify that, under the Whistleblower Protection Act, an employee who refuses to obey an order that would require the employee to violate a law, rule, or regulation is protected from retaliation.  

“I thank my colleague, Mr. Duffy, for introducing this critical legislation. Protecting whistleblowers has been and should continue to be a nonpartisan issue and something on which we can all agree,” said Congressman Gerry Connolly.

“If the Administration and my colleagues are serious about “draining the swamp,” we need to do all we can to ensure that federal employees are allowed to perform their jobs free from political pressure to violate laws, rules, and regulations,” Connolly added.

“As a member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, I rely on whistleblowers to help us with our oversight and reform work.  Without them, rooting out mismanagement, abuse, and corruption would be very difficult,” said Connolly. “Employees should be protected from retaliation if they do the right thing, even if it means disobeying orders from their superiors.”

“Given the Trump Administration’s attacks on the federal workforce, it is especially important now for Congress to uphold whistleblower protections for our public servants. We cannot tolerate the issuance of gag orders to silence dissent.  And, we cannot permit the firing of agency employees who have differing political views from our own or from Administration actions,” said Connolly.

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