Citing recent scandals across the federal government, a Republican lawmaker is pushing a new bill that would make it legal for Americans to record most conversations they have with employees of federal agencies.
“I have heard story after story of federal regulators abusing their power,” said Rep. Lynn Jenkins, a Kansas Republican.
On Wednesday, Jenkins introduced legislation that she says would expand the rights of Americans to record their conversations with federal employees. Under current law, people are only able to lawfully record certain in-person conversations with IRS officials.
But under Jenkins proposal, that law would be expanded to allow people to record both in-person and phone conversations with most agencies in the executive branch. It would also require these government officials to tell people they have the right to record these conversations.
“The Citizen Empowerment Act will ensure all Americans are aware of their rights, give individuals a new tool to fight back, and allow citizens to protect themselves or their businesses when a government official comes calling,” Jenkins said.
The Republican congresswoman said Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt plans to offer companion legislation in the Senate.
“In recent months, we have seen many examples of our nation’s bloated bureaucracy making life harder for Americans and their families,” she said.