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WPEA Status Report

WPEA Status Report

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Published by MSPBWatch

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Published by: MSPBWatch on Sep 21, 2012
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12/05/2013

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9/21/12 Outlook Print Message1/3https://bay002.mail.live.com/mail/PrintMessages.aspx?cpids=f16564eb-0439-11e2-8d05-00215ad81a5…
RE: WPEA Status Report​
From:
David Pardo
(dpardo@outlook.com)Sent:Fri 9/21/12 6:16 PMTo:Shanna Devine (shannad@whistleblower.org); tomd@whistleblower.org(tomd@whistleblower.org); beae@whistleblower.org (beae@whistleblower.org)
Let. The. Senate. Risk. A. Hold.Then you can turn this issue into an electoral litmus test. Unless that risks bipartisanship and jeopardizes POGO's other projects on the Hill?How much of this last-minute, backroom opposition bullsh*t would be eliminated if the process wastransparent and congressional offices were incentivized to stand for these rights in public andexpose private opponents, right before the election?I'd hate to think these so-called status reports are theatre for the unwashed masses when therights were actually bargained away in 2011, behind closed doors.Frankly, GAP/MISC SC doesn't get the benefit of the doubt anymore. It's strictly your word not backup by any institutional credibility.That's the result of months, if not years of playing games with the grassroots.
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2012 18:03:12 -0400Subject: WPEA Status ReportFrom: shannad@whistleblower.org
Dear MISC Members,
this note from the MISC Steering Committee is to give a WPEA status report. The bill was scheduled for unanimous consent approval today, but Speaker Boehner decided not to let anylegislation be enacted by UC. The House is coming back in on Tuesday, and the Speaker’s office has toldcongressional staff that they want to get the job done. Hill staff told us they are viewing the development as adelay, not a defeat. There have been rumors about back room opposition, and about the Speaker’sresponse. We need to get hard information before giving a detailed report, but you will receive one when weknow. We’re particularly frustrated, because the Senate floor leaders already had obtained the clearancesfor unanimous consent approval there, if the House had finished. We have been told definitely, without qualifier by staff working on the bill that the core consensus is over language that cannot be changed. Some of those conclusions came both from Republican and Democraticoffices that we had convinced to keep pushing for conceptual, and fine tuning amendments on issues like
 
9/21/12 Outlook Print Message2/3https://bay002.mail.live.com/mail/PrintMessages.aspx?cpids=f16564eb-0439-11e2-8d05-00215ad81a5…
retroactivity. They agreed, argued and submitted amendments/language, and all hit the wall. Since thelanguage is even more carved in stone now, a bottom line assessment is worth considering for the bill thatwas on the verge of approval.We’re disappointed that the final version of S. 743 did not include court access, national security rights andclassified whistleblowing disclosures to Congress. We tried repeatedly to eliminate uncertainty by locking inU.S. Code language for the technical amendments like retroactivity. Numerous offices had strong legislativehistory floor statements ready to go on that and other issues where it could make a difference. For some of us having worked on this since 1999, however, it’s possible to put the latest version in perspective: it is stronger than the 2008 bill, which at the time was the most advanced. But due to loss of  jury trials and Title 2 national security rights, it is not as strong as the 2010 version killed by a last hour hold.As we have warned at every community meeting since negotiations began this congress, both of thoseadvances have been on life support since the 2010 elections. We lobbied aggressively for both through lastFriday, with grass roots support, action alerts, and all the sign on letters. Then we firmly were told to stop by the congressional staff trying to deliver stronger rights, because they had been warned the changes wouldmean Senate hold by various offices. The consensus result would eliminate every hostile precedent since 1994, and free the Special Counsel toresume seeking disciplinary actions. That alone is more than the 1989 and 1994 bills that passed. It is100% positive – all advances covering the spectrum of jurisdictional, substantive and procedural rights.There is nothing in it, including summary judgment, which conceivably could be attacked as rolling back whistleblower rights. It also establishes a beach head of structural reform by removing the Federal Circuit’smonopoly for the next two years, and making all due process/court access issues part of a two year study.We are shifting to several parallel strategies for the national security provisions, both (as suggested bywhistleblowers after 2010) with the White House, and other legislative vehicles that House IntelligenceCommittee can’t hold hostage. We’re very optimistic that the national security rights have a better chancefor stronger final results through the alternate routes, but we weren’t going to pass an opportunity in S.743/HR 3289.This initial report is based on soft information about what happened behind closed doors, but we felt thecommunity had a right to know what happened today for their rights.Have a good weekend,MISC Steering Committee
 
Shanna DevineInvestigator, Legislative Campaign Coord.

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