Weekly Video Address: 25th Anniversary of Update to the False Claims Act Print
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Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 06 February 2012 09:00

During his weekly video address, Senator Chuck Grassley celebrates the 25th anniversary of a major update to the False Claims Act he authored to empower whistleblowers to file suit on behalf of the federal government against contractors who fraudulently claim taxpayer dollars. The law is the most successful tool of the federal government in rooting out fraud against the federal treasury, and has helped recover more than $30 billion in taxpayer funds that otherwise would be lost, and is said to have deterred billions more.

Click here for audio.

Here is the text of the address:

This week marked the 25th anniversary of a major update of the False Claims Act.

In 1986, with Representative Howard Berman of California, I authored legislation to empower private-sector whistleblowers to come forward with valuable information about fraud by government contractors.  At that time, the focus was on defense contract fraud.  Today, these qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act have become the government’s most effective tool against health care fraud, especially in Medicare.

In 25 years, the whistleblower provisions have recovered more than $30 billion for taxpayers that otherwise would have been lost to fraud.  Experts say the deterrent effect of the law to be billions more.

I’m committed – and new threats are constant – to safeguarding and strengthening this law with legislation whenever it’s needed and with oversight all the time.  The broad scope of government programs where whistleblowers have helped to recover taxpayer dollars with the False Claims Act is a testament to the 1986 law’s flexibility and value.

American workers also need new export markets for the goods and services they manufacture.  They need an energetic and enthusiastic effort to establish new international trade relationships for the United States.

The economy benefits from affordable energy, so domestic production has got to be a priority and a reality.  Even so, President Obama is denying the Keystone XL pipeline project.  This infrastructure project would create as many as 20,000 jobs.  The President’s position works against creating jobs and getting people back to work.

Since 2009, President Obama’s big spending stimulus and government intervention has failed in terms of job creation, economic growth and fiscal responsibility. We need a new direction.

On top of that, President Obama seems determined to test and even exceed the powers of his office.  America has a system of checks and balances that’s generally worked for more than two centuries.  The President’s interest in putting the executive branch above the other branches of government is unconstitutional and counter-productive.  It’s something Americans rejected 235 years ago.

Today, finding common ground with the elected representatives of Congress would be more productive than trying to govern by edict from the Oval Office.

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