Text: H.R.7185 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/11/2020)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 7185 Introduced in House (IH)]

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116th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 7185

 To amend title 18, United States Code, to make the disclosure of the 
  identity of a whistleblower a criminal offense, to provide a civil 
right of action for the disclosure of the identity of a whistleblower, 
                        and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             June 11, 2020

  Mr. Swalwell of California introduced the following bill; which was 
               referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To amend title 18, United States Code, to make the disclosure of the 
  identity of a whistleblower a criminal offense, to provide a civil 
right of action for the disclosure of the identity of a whistleblower, 
                        and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Enhancing Protections for 
Whistleblower Anonymity Act''.

SEC. 2. CRIMINAL PENALTY FOR THE DISCLOSURE OF THE IDENTITY OF A 
              WHISTLEBLOWER.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 88 of title 18, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following new section:
``Sec. 1802. Disclosure of whistleblower identity
    ``(a) In General.--Except under the circumstances described in 
subsection (b), whoever, being an employee of the Federal Government or 
contractor of the Federal Government, knowingly makes a prohibited 
disclosure shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 1 
year, or both.
    ``(b) Exceptions.--The circumstances described in this subsection 
are the following:
            ``(1) The prohibited disclosure--
                    ``(A) is made to--
                            ``(i) an employee of the Federal 
                        Government;
                            ``(ii) an employee of a State government; 
                        or
                            ``(iii) an employee of a local government; 
                        and
                    ``(B) is expressly permitted by any other law.
            ``(2) The whistleblower provides written consent before the 
        prohibited disclosure is made.
    ``(c) Applicability.--Subsection (a) shall only apply to a 
prohibited disclosure that is made after the date of enactment of this 
section.
    ``(d) Definitions.--In this section:
            ``(1) Employee of the federal government.--The term 
        `employee of the Federal Government' means an officer or 
        employee of the United States Government, including--
                    ``(A) a member of the uniformed service;
                    ``(B) a Member of Congress; and
                    ``(C) the President of the United States.
            ``(2) Member of congress.--The term `Member of Congress' 
        has the meaning given such term in section 2106 of title 5.
            ``(3) Prohibited disclosure.--The term `prohibited 
        disclosure' means a formal or informal communication or 
        transmission of--
                    ``(A) the identity of a whistleblower; or
                    ``(B) identifying information relating to a 
                whistleblower.
            ``(4) Whistleblower.--The term `whistleblower' means each 
        of the following:
                    ``(A) An employee, former employee, or applicant 
                for employment (as such terms are used in section 
                1213(a) of title 5) who makes a disclosure that is 
                described in paragraph (1) or (2) of such section.
                    ``(B) An employee of an agency or applicant for 
                employment at an agency (as such terms are used in 
                section 2302(b)(8)(C) of title 5) who makes a 
                disclosure as described in such section.
                    ``(C) A former employee of the Federal Government 
                who makes a disclosure to Congress of information 
                described in section 2302(b)(8)(C) of title 5.
                    ``(D) An employee that makes a complaint or 
                otherwise provides information to the Inspector General 
                (as the terms `employee' and `Inspector General' are 
                used in the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. 
                App.)) pursuant to the requirements of section 7 of 
                such Act.
                    ``(E) A member of the armed forces that--
                            ``(i) complains of or discloses 
                        information; and
                            ``(ii) is protected against retaliation for 
                        such actions under section 1034 of title 10.
                    ``(F) An employee (as the term `employee' is used 
                in section 103H of the National Security Act of 1947 
                (50 U.S.C. 3033)) who the Inspector General of the 
                Intelligence Community may not disclose the identity of 
                pursuant to the requirements of section 103H(g)(3)(A) 
                of such Act (50 U.S.C. 3033(g)(3)(A)).
                    ``(G) An employee (as the term `employee' is used 
                in section 4712(a)(3)(A) of title 41) who is deemed to 
                have made a disclosure under such section.
                    ``(H) A individual not otherwise covered by 
                subparagraphs (A) through (F) who--
                            ``(i) is protected by law to make a 
                        disclosure of--
                                    ``(I) a violation of law or 
                                regulation; or
                                    ``(II) gross mismanagement, gross 
                                waste of funds, abuse of authority, or 
                                a substantial and specific danger to 
                                public health or the safety of a 
                                Federal entity;
                            ``(ii) makes such a disclosure;
                            ``(iii) is not prohibited by law to make 
                        such a disclosure; and
                            ``(iv) is not disclosing information that 
                        is determined pursuant to Executive Order No. 
                        13526 (75 Fed. Reg. 707; relating to classified 
                        national security information), or a successor 
                        order, or the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 (42 
                        U.S.C. 2011 et seq.) to require protection 
                        against unauthorized disclosure.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections for chapter 88 of 
title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the 
following new item:

``1802. Disclosure of whistleblower identity.''.

SEC. 3. CIVIL RIGHT OF ACTION AGAINST DISCLOSURE OF WHISTLEBLOWER 
              IDENTITY.

    (a) Prohibited Disclosure.--A whistleblower may bring a civil 
action before the appropriate district court--
            (1) for appropriate relief, including injunctive relief, 
        compensatory damages, and punitive damages, against any 
        employee of the Federal Government or contractor of the Federal 
        Government who makes a prohibited disclosure, with respect to 
        such whistleblower; or
            (2) for injunctive relief against any employee of the 
        Federal Government or contractor of the Federal Government who 
        threatens to make a prohibited disclosure, with respect to such 
        whistleblower.
    (b) Jury Trial.--A party to an action brought under subsection (a) 
shall be entitled to trial by jury.
    (c) Definitions.--In this section, the terms ``employee of the 
Federal Government'', ``prohibited disclosure'', and ``whistleblower'' 
have the meanings given such terms in section 1802(d) of title 18, 
United States Code, as added by this Act.
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