During debate of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the House adopted several amendments by voice vote.
The House adopted an amendment by Reps. Nadler, DeFazio, Lipinski, McMahon, and Ellison to add $3 billion to funding for mass transit projects. Learn more from the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee>>
The House also adopted an amendment by Reps. Van Hollen and Platts which inserted the text of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (which passed in the 110th Congress but failed to become law) into the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This ensures that federal employees have whistleblower protection so that if they see waste, fraud or abuse, they can report it without fear of retaliation or harm.
Rep. Van Hollen:
Speaker Pelosi on adoption of the amendment:
We have worked for years to protect taxpayer dollars and improve services the federal government provides by protecting those most familiar with how the dollars are spent and the results achieved. Today, the worst economic downturn in decades requires recovery legislation of such a scope that these protections have become more critical than ever.
It is inconceivable that the people's business had been conducted for so long without 'whistleblower' protections to encourage every public employee to do the right thing. In many cases, these whistleblowers save extraordinary sums of money, protect the integrity of research done in federal labs, and restore public confidence in the work of our nation.
At last we have a President who believes we must both shine a bright light on our government and let the voices of those who speak the truth be heard loud and clear.
An amendment by Rep. Teague requiring the Recovery.gov website established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act contain links and information to assist Americans in accessing jobs created under the bill was also adopted. The amendment further directs Recovery.gov to include links to local employment agencies, state, local, and other public agencies receiving recovery funds, and private firms contracted to perform work funded by the legislation.
An amendment by Rep. Waters to provide that job training funds may be used for broadband deployment and related activities provided in the bill was adopted.