Text: S.2529 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (09/23/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 2529 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

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116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                S. 2529

To amend the Commodity Exchange Act and the Securities Exchange Act of 
  1934 to modify provisions relating to whistleblower incentives and 
                  protection, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                           September 23, 2019

  Mr. Grassley (for himself, Ms. Baldwin, Ms. Ernst, and Mr. Durbin) 
introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the 
           Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To amend the Commodity Exchange Act and the Securities Exchange Act of 
  1934 to modify provisions relating to whistleblower incentives and 
                  protection, 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 ``Whistleblower Programs Improvement 
Act''.

SEC. 2. WHISTLEBLOWER PROTECTIONS FOR INTERNAL DISCLOSURES.

    (a) Commodities.--Section 23 of the Commodity Exchange Act (7 
U.S.C. 26) is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)(7)--
                    (A) by striking ``The term'' and inserting the 
                following:
                    ``(A) In general.--The term''; and
                    (B) by adding at the end the following:
                    ``(B) Special rule.--Solely for the purposes of 
                subsection (h)(1), the term `whistleblower' includes 
                any individual who takes, or 2 or more individuals 
                acting jointly who take, an action described in 
                subsection (h)(1)(A).''; and
            (2) in subsection (h)(1)(A)--
                    (A) in clause (i), by striking ``or'' at the end;
                    (B) in clause (ii), by striking the period at the 
                end and inserting ``; or''; and
                    (C) by adding at the end the following:
                            ``(iii) in providing information regarding 
                        any conduct that the whistleblower reasonably 
                        believes constitutes a violation of any law, 
                        rule, or regulation subject to the jurisdiction 
                        of the Commission to--
                                    ``(I) a person with supervisory 
                                authority over the whistleblower at the 
                                employer of the whistleblower, if that 
                                employer is an entity registered with, 
                                or required to be registered with, the 
                                Commission, a self-regulatory 
                                organization, or a State securities 
                                commission or office performing like 
                                functions; or
                                    ``(II) another individual working 
                                for the employer described in subclause 
                                (I) who the whistleblower reasonably 
                                believes has the authority--
                                            ``(aa) to investigate, 
                                        discover, or terminate the 
                                        misconduct; or
                                            ``(bb) to take any other 
                                        action to address the 
                                        misconduct.''.
    (b) Securities.--Section 21F of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 
(15 U.S.C. 78u-6) is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)(6)--
                    (A) by striking ``The term'' and inserting the 
                following:
                    ``(A) In general.--The term''; and
                    (B) by adding at the end the following:
                    ``(B) Special rule.--Solely for the purposes of 
                subsection (h)(1), the term `whistleblower' includes 
                any individual who takes, or 2 or more individuals 
                acting jointly who take, an action described in 
                subsection (h)(1)(A).''; and
            (2) in subsection (h)(1)(A)--
                    (A) in clause (ii), by striking ``or'' at the end;
                    (B) in clause (iii), by striking the period at the 
                end and inserting ``; or''; and
                    (C) by adding at the end the following:
                            ``(iv) in providing information regarding 
                        any conduct that the whistleblower reasonably 
                        believes constitutes a violation of any law, 
                        rule, or regulation subject to the jurisdiction 
                        of the Commission to--
                                    ``(I) a person with supervisory 
                                authority over the whistleblower at the 
                                employer of the whistleblower, if that 
                                employer is an entity registered with, 
                                or required to be registered with, the 
                                Commission, a self-regulatory 
                                organization, or a State securities 
                                commission or office performing like 
                                functions; or
                                    ``(II) another individual working 
                                for the employer described in subclause 
                                (I) who the whistleblower reasonably 
                                believes has the authority to--
                                            ``(aa) investigate, 
                                        discover, or terminate the 
                                        misconduct; or
                                            ``(bb) take any other 
                                        action to address the 
                                        misconduct.''.

SEC. 3. PROMPT PAYMENT OF AWARDS.

    (a) Commodities.--
            (1) In general.--Section 23(b) of the Commodity Exchange 
        Act (7 U.S.C. 26) is amended by adding at the end the 
        following:
            ``(3) Timely processing of claims.--
                    ``(A) Initial disposition.--
                            ``(i) In general.--Except as provided in 
                        subparagraph (B), and subject to clause (ii), 
                        the Commission shall make an initial 
                        disposition with respect to a claim submitted 
                        by a whistleblower for an award under this 
                        section (referred to in this paragraph as an 
                        `award claim') not later than 1 year after the 
                        deadline established by the Commission, by 
                        rule, for the whistleblower to file the award 
                        claim.
                            ``(ii) Multiple actions.--If a covered 
                        judicial or administrative action involves 1 or 
                        more related actions, the requirement under 
                        clause (i) shall apply with respect to the 
                        latest deadline with respect to the actions.
                    ``(B) Exceptions.--
                            ``(i) Initial extension.--If the Director 
                        of the Division of Enforcement of the 
                        Commission (referred to in this paragraph as 
                        the `Director'), or the designee of the 
                        Director, determines that an award claim is 
                        sufficiently complex or involves more than 1 
                        whistleblower, or if other good cause exists 
                        such that the Commission cannot reasonably 
                        satisfy the requirement under subparagraph (A), 
                        the Director or the designee, as applicable, 
                        after providing notice to the Chairman of the 
                        Commission (referred to in this paragraph as 
                        the `Chairman'), may extend the deadline with 
                        respect to the satisfaction of that 
                        subparagraph by not more than 180 days.
                            ``(ii) Additional extensions.--If, after 
                        providing an extension under clause (i), the 
                        Director, or the designee of the Director, 
                        determines that the Commission cannot 
                        reasonably satisfy the requirement under 
                        subparagraph (A) with respect to an award 
                        claim, as extended under that clause, the 
                        Director or the designee, as applicable, after 
                        providing notice to the Chairman, may extend 
                        the period in which the Commission may satisfy 
                        subparagraph (A) by 1 additional 180-day 
                        period.
                            ``(iii) Notice to whistleblower required.--
                        If the Director, or the designee of the 
                        Director, exercises authority under clause (i) 
                        or (ii), the Director or the designee, as 
                        applicable, shall submit to the whistleblower 
                        who filed the award claim that is subject to 
                        that action by the Director or the designee a 
                        written notification of that action by the 
                        Director or the designee.
                    ``(C) Applicability.--This paragraph shall apply 
                only to an award claim that is timely submitted under a 
                deadline established by the Commission after the date 
                of enactment of this paragraph.''.
            (2) Rules.--The Commodity Futures Trading Commission may 
        issue any rules that are necessary to carry out paragraph (3) 
        of section 23(b) of the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 26(b)) 
        (as added by paragraph (1)).
    (b) Securities.--
            (1) In general.--Section 21F(b) of the Securities Exchange 
        Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78u-6(b)) is amended by adding at the 
        end the following:
            ``(3) Timely processing of claims.--
                    ``(A) Initial disposition.--
                            ``(i) In general.--Except as provided in 
                        subparagraph (B), and subject to clause (ii), 
                        the Commission shall make an initial 
                        disposition with respect to a claim submitted 
                        by a whistleblower for an award under this 
                        section (referred to in this paragraph as an 
                        `award claim') not later than 1 year after the 
                        deadline established by the Commission, by 
                        rule, for the whistleblower to file the award 
                        claim.
                            ``(ii) Multiple actions.--If a covered 
                        judicial or administrative action involves 1 or 
                        more related actions, the requirement under 
                        clause (i) shall apply with respect to the 
                        latest deadline with respect to the actions.
                    ``(B) Exceptions.--
                            ``(i) Initial extension.--If the Director 
                        of the Division of Enforcement of the 
                        Commission (referred to in this paragraph as 
                        the `Director'), or the designee of the 
                        Director, determines that an award claim is 
                        sufficiently complex or involves more than 1 
                        whistleblower, or if other good cause exists 
                        such that the Commission cannot reasonably 
                        satisfy the requirement under subparagraph (A), 
                        the Director or the designee, as applicable, 
                        after providing notice to the Chairman of the 
                        Commission (referred to in this paragraph as 
                        the `Chairman'), may extend the deadline with 
                        respect to the satisfaction of that 
                        subparagraph by not more than 180 days.
                            ``(ii) Additional extensions.--If, after 
                        providing an extension under clause (i), the 
                        Director, or the designee of the Director, 
                        determines that the Commission cannot 
                        reasonably satisfy the requirement under 
                        subparagraph (A) with respect to an award 
                        claim, as extended under that clause, the 
                        Director or the designee, as applicable, after 
                        providing notice to the Chairman, may extend 
                        the period in which the Commission may satisfy 
                        subparagraph (A) by 1 additional 180-day 
                        period.
                            ``(iii) Notice to whistleblower required.--
                        If the Director, or the designee of the 
                        Director, exercises authority under clause (i) 
                        or (ii), the Director or the designee, as 
                        applicable, shall submit to the whistleblower 
                        who filed the award claim that is subject to 
                        that action by the Director or the designee a 
                        written notification of that action by the 
                        Director or the designee.
                    ``(C) Applicability.--This paragraph shall apply 
                only to an award claim that is timely submitted under a 
                deadline established by the Commission after the date 
                of enactment of this paragraph.''.
            (2) Rules.--The Securities and Exchange Commission may 
        issue any rules that are necessary to carry out paragraph (3) 
        of section 21F(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 
        U.S.C. 78u-6(b)), as added by paragraph (1).

SEC. 4. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS.

    (a) CFTC Whistleblower Program Education Initiatives.--Section 
23(g)(2) of the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 26(g)(2)) is amended--
            (1) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``and'' at the end;
            (2) in subparagraph (B), by striking the period at the end 
        and inserting ``; and''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following:
                    ``(C) the funding of initiatives designed to 
                educate stakeholders regarding the incentives and 
                protections available under this section, including the 
                benefits of those incentives and protections.''.
    (b) Deposits Into CFTC Consumer Protection Fund.--Section 
23(g)(3)(A) of the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 26(g)(3)(A)) is 
amended by striking ``$100,000,000'' and inserting ``$150,000,000''.
    (c) Availability of Certain CFTC Information to Government 
Agencies.--Section 23(h)(2)(C) of the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C. 
26(h)(2)(C)) is amended--
            (1) in clause (i)--
                    (A) in subclause (II), by striking 
                ``jurisdiction;'' and inserting the following: 
                ``jurisdiction, including--
                                            ``(aa) the Federal Trade 
                                        Commission;
                                            ``(bb) the Internal Revenue 
                                        Service; and
                                            ``(cc) the Department of 
                                        State;''; and
                    (B) in subclause (VI), by inserting ``or other 
                foreign law enforcement authority'' before the period 
                at the end; and
            (2) in clause (ii)--
                    (A) by striking ``Each'' and inserting the 
                following:
                                    ``(I) In general.--Each'';
                    (B) in subclause (I) (as so designated), by 
                inserting ``subclauses (I) through (V) of'' before 
                ``clause (i)''; and
                    (C) by adding at the end the following:
                                    ``(II) Foreign authorities.--An 
                                entity described in subclause (VI) of 
                                clause (i) shall maintain information 
                                described in that clause in accordance 
                                with such assurances of confidentiality 
                                as the Commission determines 
                                appropriate.''.
    (d) Technical Corrections.--
            (1) Review.--Section 23(f)(3) of the Commodity Exchange Act 
        (7 U.S.C. 26(f)(3)) is amended by striking ``section 7064'' and 
        inserting ``section 706''.
            (2) Existing commodities provision.--
                    (A) In general.--Section 21F of the Securities 
                Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78u-6) is amended by 
                adding at the end the following:
    ``(k) Nonenforceability of Certain Provisions Waiving Rights and 
Remedies or Requiring Arbitration.--
            ``(1) Waiver of rights and remedies.--The rights and 
        remedies provided in this section may not be waived by any 
        agreement, policy form, or condition of employment, including 
        by a predispute arbitration agreement.
            ``(2) Predispute arbitration agreement.--No predispute 
        arbitration agreement shall be valid or enforceable if the 
        agreement requires the arbitration of a dispute arising under 
        this section.''.
                    (B) Applicability.--Subsection (k) of section 21F 
                of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. 78u-
                6), as added by subparagraph (A), shall apply with 
                respect to any action that is filed on or after, or 
                that is pending as of, the date of enactment of this 
                Act.
    (e) Clarifications Regarding Performance Evaluations for the 
Foreign Service.--Section 2302(a)(2)(viii) of title 5, United States 
Code, is amended by striking ``or under title 38'' and inserting ``, 
under title 38, or under the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (22 U.S.C. 
3901 et seq.)''.
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