Congress loves whistleblowers in agencies that are able to provide unfettered details to help them as they oversee the executive branch. So Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) was furious when he learned the FDA was looking at its employees' communications with lawmakers, journalists and with the special counsel. Grassley says the FDA also spied on the communications of its doctors who were worried about the safety of certain medical devices.
"There are so many violations here it's hard for me to remember all of them, but the basic thing is the instinct for a bureaucracy to think somebody overseeing if the law's faithfully executed is an enemy," says Grassley. "I've never considered myself an enemy of anybody. I'm trying to make our government work."
Grassley is investigating just how high up the spying program went, and he believes it was approved by the General Counsel's Office. He's asking the Justice Department to start its own investigation into the agency's efforts to quell dissenting voices.
David Hawkings, political columnist at Hawkings Here for Roll Call, talks about the latest behind a Virginia lawmaker's push to get a high-skill immigration bill in the House.