What: All Issues : Labor Rights : Rights of Individuals in the Workplace : H.R. 985 Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act/Stupak of Michigan amendment to clarify that political interference with science is covered under the bill (2007 house Roll Call 149)
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H.R. 985 Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act/Stupak of Michigan amendment to clarify that political interference with science is covered under the bill
house Roll Call 149     Mar 14, 2007
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on an amendment by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) to the Whistleblower Protection Act that specifically stated that instances of political interference in government-funded science are to be considered "abuses of authority," making their disclosure covered under the terms of the act.

The amendment gives an example of political interference in the scientific process: preventing federally funded scientists or grantees from publishing or presenting their research. There have been numerous allegations of political appointees within the Bush administration doing that, including suppressing research on global climate change that didn't support the White House's stated position.

The underlying bill aims to make it easier for federal employees and contractors to expose wrongdoing without repercussions for their own jobs. The bill would grant most federal employees the right to have retaliation claims heard in federal court. A separate amendment by Stupak approved by the House (Roll Call 151) added scientists who engage in federally funded research to the list of those eligible to whistleblower protections.

A majority of House Republicans opposed the measure, and Democrats unanimously supported it. In the end, the House voted 250-178 to approve Stupak's amendment, and thus the bill moved toward final passage with a provision specifying that political interference with government-funded science would be covered under the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act.

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