Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
June 29, 2021
Contact Info: 
Margaret Mulkerrin 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – This afternoon, Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor in support of the IG Independence and Empowerment Act, legislation he co-sponsored to strengthen the independence and authority of federal Inspectors-General and protect them from political retaliation. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery and a link to the video:
 
Click here to watch the video
 
“Madam Speaker, I was proud to introduce this legislation with my colleagues – Chairwoman Maloney, Vice Chair Gomez, Chairman Connolly, Chairman Lynch, and Reps. Porter and Lieu – just as I am proud to bring it to the Floor for consideration today.
 
“Americans deserve the highest standards of ethics, transparency, and accountability from their government. Federal agencies and officials work for the people, and they must be accountable to the people.
 
“That’s why the previous administration’s assault on the independence of Inspectors-General was so alarming. Former President Trump removed or replaced the Inspectors-General from the Departments of Defense, State, Health and Human Services, and Transportation, as well as from the Intelligence community.

“These watchdogs must be able to act independently and be free from political pressure or threats to their careers. We introduced our bill to address the challenge exposed by the actions of the prior administration, and I urge all of my colleagues to join us in supporting this legislation today.
 
“It will build on the provision that I pushed to include in the House rules in January, which protects federal whistleblowers by making it a violation of House rules for Members to reveal their identities. Those who come forward to reveal misconduct or violations of the public trust need to be heard and must be protected from threats of retaliation. They need to know that they can go to Inspectors-General or to Congress under strong whistleblower protections.
 
“House Democrats, as part of our platform for renewing faith in government and ensuring that it works ‘For the People,’ are determined to protect and strengthen government accountability. I hope Republicans will join us in that effort. Vote ‘Yes.’”