In one of the most potentially significant developments ever discussed on this whistleblower lawyer blog, Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) announced today that he and Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) are co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill designed to restore the government’s primary tool for fighting fraud against taxpayers, the False Claims Act, to its intended effectiveness. Court decisions in recent years had weakened the False Claims Act and impaired its usefulness in fighting fraud.
The new bill, the “False Claims Act Correction Act,” will also be co-sponored by Republican Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, and Democratic Senator Pat Leahy of Vermont. Representative Howard Berman (D-California) is expected to introduce similar legislation in the House to strengthen the qui tam whistleblower law, which allows private citizens to report fraud against the government and be rewarded.
Senator Grassley and Rep. Berman are largely credited with creating the modern False Claims Act through sponsoring Amendments in 1986 to the whistleblower law.
We applaud this bipartisan effort by these lawmakers to ensure that taxpayers’ funds are protected from fraud through the most effective means ever devised–encouraging private citizens to report fraud by allowing them to receive rewards as qui tam whistleblowers. The False Claims Act is as important now as it was when enacted in President Lincoln’s time.