Last year, someone in the U.S. Senate put an anonymous hold on the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, a bill that would expand the numbers of federal workers protected by whistleblower laws and offers specific protection for government-employed scientists, among other things. The bill passed the House and Senate last year, but when it returned to the Senate for final approval in December, a senator placed a hold on it. We don’t know who -– because senators are able to put bills on hold anonymously.
The staff of On the Media, a news program at public radio station WNYC in New York, decided to find out who held the bill -– and they decided to crowdsource the project. By calling on the public to pressure senators to talk about the bill, they’ve gotten 97 members of the Senate to go on record saying they’re not the source of the hold.
Who’s left? Sen. James Risch, (R-Idaho), Sen. John Kyl (R-Arizona) and Alabama’s own Sen. Jeff Sessions.
Asked whether Sessions is the source of the hold, Sessions spokeswoman Sarah Haley would neither confirm nor deny Tuesday.
"As an office policy, we do not comment on holds," she said.
To find out more about On the Media’s project – go to WNYC’s website.