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WASHINGTON – House Democrats scrambled on Tuesday to salvage legislation that would bar federal agencies from punishing employees who report corruption, waste and mismanagement after Republicans linked the bill to the WikiLeaks scandal.
In hopes of securing needed GOP support, Democrats offered to strip from the bill provisions that extend whistle-blower protections to workers at U.S. intelligence agencies — seen as a major concession by backers of the bill.
Even though its supporters say the legislation makes classified disclosures through WikiLeaks or other outlets illegal, Republicans had complained it still might encourage leaks by employees in the most sensitive government jobs.
WASHINGTON – Following the latest baring of U.S. secrets on the Internet, Congress is poised to pass legislation giving employees in the most sensitive government jobs a way to report corruption, waste and mismanagement without turning to outside organizations like WikiLeaks.
President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill, which supporters say will discourage leaks of classified information. The legislation would allow intelligence agency whistle-blowers to raise concerns within their agencies instead of giving classified materials to WikiLeaks or other outlets, which is illegal.
"Until this law is passed, WikiLeaks will continue to be the safest option for whistle-blowers unwilling to engage in professional suicide," said Devine, who is coordinating support for the bill from a coalition of more than 60 public interest and advocacy groups.