Legislation Would Fire Federal Employees Who Plead the Fifth

Legislation has been introduced in the House that would fire federal employees who refuse to testify before Congress under oath.

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) has introduced legislation that would make it a fireable offense for federal employees who refuse to answer questions in front of Congress.

The bill is nicknamed the “Lerner” bill after Lois Lerner, the Director of IRS Exempt Organizations who refused to answer questions in front of a House committee on May 22 about her role in the IRS targeting conservative groups.

“This is a statement which should not be made by federally appointed officials before a congressional hearing if they are faithfully carrying out the duties of their office,” Brooks told The Hill when speaking on introduction of the legislation.

He added, “That is why I am introducing H.R. 2458, which would terminate the employment of any federal employee who refuses to answer questions before a congressional hearing or lies before a congressional hearing. This legislation is constitutional and necessary to enable Congress to provide proper oversight for the American people.”

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.