Stimulus

How Convenient

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One item that was left out of the conference committee version of the stimulus bill: the Van Hollen-Platts amendment from the House bill. That amendment would have granted whistleblower protection to federal workers and contractors, including those who report fraud and waste in—you guessed it—how the government spends stimulus money.

Zachary Roth at Talking Points Memo blames Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) for watering down the amendment in conference until it was eventually abandoned altogether. She apparently objected to the protection of whistleblowers who divulge classified information, though that language could easily have been removed.

If that's true, Collins deserves a lot of blame. But I'm also fairly certain that the Democrats have large majorities in both houses of Congress. If protecting federal whistleblowers who expose waste and abuse is any sort of priority for them, they had more than enough votes to keep the amendment in the bill.

NEXT: Mark Cuban, Private Stimulator

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  1. Whistleblowers against the Obama administration are just racists anyway. How could Reason support racists?

  2. Yo, fuck Susan Collins, the entirety of Con-gress, and everyone in both wings of the major political party generally.

  3. Behold the new era of “transparency in government”.

  4. You think they’re going to have whistleblower protections for people reporting fraud and waste in how the stimulus is spent?

    Wake up – the whole damn stimulus bill is nothing but fraud and waste. Why would they offer whistleblower protections for stating what most Americans already know?

  5. I’ve discovered that when the talking heads start using a term repeatably, like TRANSPARENCY has been lately, you can expect the opposite is what’s actually going on.

  6. If they add enough people to the GAO to even come close to staying on top of this shit, there will be a substantial effect on employment. Thanx, Mr President!

  7. I’ve discovered that when the talking heads start using a term repeatably, like TRANSPARENCY has been lately, you can expect the opposite is what’s actually going on.

    ::yawn:: Nothing new to firearm owners. “Common sense regulation” means anything you hear after will be entirely devoid of any common sense, much less a well reasoned approach.

  8. There’s plenty of common sense and reasoning on this one. The biggest bank hiest in history doesn’t just happen willy nilly.

  9. Whatever the merits, this belonged in a “stimulus” bill, why?

  10. J.P., it has the same merit as 60% of the bullshit that’s in there now.

  11. I see that the CBO priced out all the increases in baseline spending in the bill, and the true tab over 10 years is $3.7 trillion.

    Let’s see if the Senators who swore not to vote for anything over $800B filibuster it.

  12. I thought feds already had whistleblower protection. There’s a poster in the office kitchen about it, handouts, and everything. I’m fairly certain I read all of them and don’t recall any insidious fine print.

    Are you saying those laws and regulations only apply to already authorized forms of fraud and waste?

    Why do you need a specific whistle-blower provision in this bill?

  13. Amazing how at a meeting of all Democrats where no Republicans were allowed, they vote out an amendment and it’s still a Republican’s fault.

    I think I am buying gold.

  14. Change we can believe in!

    All of you bastards who supported the huckster Obama should be ashamed of yourselves.

    Who cares if he promises an ounce or two more of social freedom if he takes 80% of your income? How are you going to enjoy social freedom if you have empty pockets?

    Get the democrats out of my pants, get them out of my wallet.

  15. Who cares if he promises an ounce or two more of social freedom if he takes 80% of your income?

    Was there a major Presidential candidate running who promised to keep his hands off of my income?

  16. If protecting federal whistleblowers who expose waste and abuse is any sort of priority for them, they had more than enough votes to keep the amendment in the bill.

    No they don’t. The Maine twins plus Specter had enormous power in deciding what stayed and what went in the stimulus bill. Without their vote, the bill fails. So, if Collins was against it, it got deleted.

  17. I’m confused as to how you can blame Democrats for this one getting rid of the whistleblower protections. Your logic doesn’t make any sense: “I know the Rs took it out, but if the Ds really wanted to keep it, they could have!”

    The whole point of that group of “centrist” senators was to make the bill easier to swallow for Republicans in general and themselves in particular. By definition, this was something that the centrists (who represent the Republican side of the spectrum) wanted!

    Blaming Democrats in this case simply seems like an example of knee-jerk partisanship. You’ve lost a lot of your integrity in the future when it comes to blaming Democrats because it appears, from this, that it’s your default reaction to something that disappoints you.

  18. Halliburton whistleblower Bunny Greenhouse wrote a new letter in response to Congress cutting whistleblower protections for federal employees from the final version of the stimulus bill. You can read the letter at http://capwiz.com/whistleblowers/issues/alert/?alertid=12666936
    sign the new petition at http://www.whistleblowers.org.

  19. hi,
    everybody, take your time and a little bit.

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