WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Andy Ogles (TN-05) introduced two amendments to H.R. 140 and took to the House floor to speak on their importance. The Protecting Speech from Government Interference Act was introduced by Rep. James Comer (KY-01) and would prevent federal employees from censoring speech from their official capacities. The bill in its original form included a 5-year debarment from federal service, as well as a $10,000 penalty for federal employees, found violating the First Amendment rights of Americans.
“My first amendment to the bill would increase the debarment provision from 5 years to 10 years for federal employees found to have violated the First Amendment from their official position. The American people employ government workers and there is no room for abuses of taxpayer-funded positions of power,” said Congressman Ogles. “I don’t believe five years is a long enough period to communicate the grave error of violating the rights of Americans.”
“My second amendment to Rep. Comer’s bill would increase the financial penalty for senior government officials from $10,000 to $50,000. Again, I simply don’t believe that a $10,000 fine would discourage government officials making an average of nearly $175,000 from violating the rights of Americans,” said Congressman Ogles. “Federal employees need to remember that they work for the American people, not the other way around.”
Both of Congressman Ogles’ amendments were agreed to on the House floor and received the support of the legislation’s original sponsor, Rep. Comer (KY-01).
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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://ogles.house.gov/media/press-releases/rep-ogles-introduces-amendments-increase-accountability-federal-employees