WASHINGTON — Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) voted to pass the Ensuring a Fair and Accurate Census Act, the Whistleblower Protection Improvement Actand the Preventing a Patronage System Act – three bills to protect our institutions and make the federal government work better for the American people.
“As a former investigative reporter, I understand how important it is to hold the powerful accountable – and that includes politicians,” said Congresswoman Bustos. “Today, I voted to pass three commonsense bills to protect the institutions we depend on from political interference and ensure that the government works better for working people. By safeguarding the Census and protecting whistleblowers and federal employees, we can keep our nation strong – no matter what challenges we face.”
The Ensuring a Fair and Accurate Census Act takes important steps to safeguard the integrity and independence of the Census Bureau against political interference by protecting the position of Census Bureau Director, ensuring that added Census questions are researched and tested, as well as bring transparency into the bureau’s budgetary needs.
The Whistleblower Protection Improvement Act is a bipartisan bill that strengthens protections for federal employees who expose wrongdoing. The bill would clarify that no federal employee – including the President or Vice President of the United States – may interfere with or retaliate against a whistleblower for sharing information with Congress, provide federal whistleblowers with faster legal recourse for retaliation claims and allow whistleblowers who take a claim to court to have their case heard by a jury of their peers.
The Preventing a Patronage System Act would prevent any position in the federal civil service from being reclassified outside of merit system principles without the express consent of Congress. The bill would secure the civil service and protect tens of thousands of federal employees from losing job protections and due process rights.