Two Chaffetz Bills Aimed at Helping Law Enforcement Signed Into Law

Published: Dec 17, 2016

Legislation protects FBI whistleblowers and fairly compensates Secret Service agents

WASHINGTON – Today, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) released the following statement after President Obama signed two Chaffetz-sponsored bills into law: H.R. 5790, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2016 and H.R. 6302, the Overtime Pay for Secret Service Agents Act of 2016.

“I have great respect for the hard working individuals at both the FBI and Secret Service. The whistleblower protections in the FBI have not kept up with the rest of government — and that is why we need a change. Whistleblowers should be treated the same as every government employee and this bill will protect them, just as Congress intended in 1978. 

“The Secret Service has a zero fail mission — to protect the president and other protectees at all costs. This past election cycle, employees worked significant overtime carrying out their mission and were not properly compensated. This bill offers relief by raising the statutory cap on overtime so those employees can receive proper compensation for their hard work during the 2016 cycle.

“I am proud to see these bills become law and appreciate the bicameral, bipartisan work that made these bills a reality.” 

Background:

H.R. 5790, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2016:

  • The bill clarifies Congress’s intent to protect FBI whistleblowers who make disclosures to managers and supervisors in their chain of command, bringing the agency in line with most others in the federal government.
  • H.R. 5790 unanimously passed the House (404-0) on December 7 and passed the Senate by voice vote on December 10.

H.R. 6302, the Overtime Pay for Secret Service Agents Act of 2016:

  • The bill offers relief to employees who worked record numbers of unpaid overtime hours during the presidential election season due to a statutory cap on pay. The bill appropriately limits pay to the 2016 presidential election year to encourage the U.S. Secret Service (USSS) to fix its current staffing problems instead of relying on excessive and expensive overtime in the future.
  • The Committee held a hearing on November 15, 2016 to examine allegations that USSS agents were not receiving proper compensation for overtime hours.
  • A 2015 Committee report found that the USSS was experiencing a staffing crisis, fueled by low morale and high attrition, that threatened to jeopardize its mission. This bill is aimed at raising morale and stemming attrition by properly compensating employees and will assist the agency in avoiding the high costs in recruiting, training, and deploying new employees.
  • H.R. 6302 passed the House by Unanimous Consent on November 30 and passed the Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent on December 10.