The Amarillo Pioneer

Amarillo's only free online newspaper. Established in 2016, we work to bring you local news that is unbiased and honest.


Thornberry Votes for Whistleblower Protection Act

Representative Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) voted in favor of the Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act of 2017 today.

According to a roll call from the U.S. House of Representatives, Thornberry voted in favor of the act this morning, as part of a unanimous consent of the present members of the House. Thirteen members of the House were counted as "not voting."

The bill was introduced by Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) and Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire). Johnson and Ayotte's bill was named for Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick, a psychologist at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tomah, Wisconsin, who "was fired after he questioned the over-medication of veterans being treated at the facility," according to Johnson's office. On the day of Kirkpatrick's firing, he committed suicide.

The bill, if passed, would create enhanced protections and expedite investigations of instances in which probationary federal employees are fired for blowing the whistle on wrongdoing within their agencies. The bill would also enact some reforms on whistleblower protections and would establish new measures on medical records in the VA office.

For a full text of the bill, visit

Photo by Washington Post

Photo by Washington Post

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