Foxx Reacts to NLRB, Democrat Smear Campaign to Silence Whistleblower
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 30, 2023
WASHINGTON – Today, the Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) sent a letter to Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) to provide clarity on oversight being conducted following information received by a whistleblower. The letter refutes Scott’s unfair, unfounded, and irrelevant assertions about the Committee’s subpoena.
Foxx’s letter also follows Scott’s misleading social media post which stated the “@NLRB watch dog has launched an investigation into Chair Foxx.” The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has no authority or cause to investigate Congress or a chair of a congressional committee.
Chairwoman Foxx commented on the smear campaign by Democrats and the NLRB to silence the whistleblower stating: “The claims by Democrats are not grounded in reality. Democrats created the House Office of the Whistleblower Ombuds; in fact, it was one of the first things Democrats enacted in the 116th Congress. And the NLRB OIG relies on whistleblowers to carry out its mission to ‘prevent and detect fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement.’ So it is mindboggling to learn that both Scott and the NLRB OIG are ignoring serious allegations by a whistleblower and instead are taking unprecedented steps to intimidate and silence this whistleblower. This is a deeply disturbing effort to prevent the American people from learning the truth.”
Foxx’s letter to Scott points out that the subpoena complies with Committee rules: “[C]onsistent with practice implemented under your chairmanship, notice of the subpoena was provided to your staff 24 hours in advance of the subpoena being served.” She continued, “Importantly, to protect the rights of the Minority, the subpoena’s instructions clearly stated that ‘two sets of documents should be delivered’ to the Committee, one set to the Majority Staff and one set to the Minority Staff….your staff and my staff simultaneously received several batches of responsive documents yesterday, consistent with the subpoena instructions and my expectations.”
Foxx’s letter to Scott shows that the subpoena does not violate the House Committee on Ethics’ rules: “A proper reading of the House Ethics Manual is that it cautions against congressional intervention in or interference with an agency decision-making process.…in this case, the subpoena merely seeks documents and does not set forth a position on the outcome of any pending cases…. Further, the section of the House Ethics Manual referenced in your correspondence addresses Members’ case work, not Congress’ legislative purpose or oversight responsibilities. It is, therefore, inapposite to the argument you make in your letter.”
Foxx’s letter to Scott points out that any effort to hinder full response to the Committee subpoena is forbidden: “Any actions that have a chilling effect on a whistleblower or a subpoena recipient should be condemned. It likely is for this reason that you opposed legislation in 2017 that you saw as threatening protections for whistleblowers. Any threat to an employee’s communications with Congress, whether it comes through intimidation tactics by the agency or others, is unacceptable. It is for this reason that Congress repeatedly has included complete bans on the use of any federal funds for a federal employee who attempts or threatens to prevent direct communication between a federal employee and Congress.”
To read Foxx’s full letter, click here.