GOP bill expands right to record conversations with federal workers

"In meetings with folks across Eastern Kansas, and in testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee, I have heard story after story of federal regulators abusing their power," she said Wednesday. "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."

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Under current law, people have limited rights to record their interactions with federal workers. Jenkins's bill would expand that right to most people in most situations, and would require most federal workers to explain to people that they have the right to record their conversation or interaction.

The bill would apply to any federal workers conducting an audit, inspection or other interaction with people related to possible violations of federal law or regulation, for which a fine or some other penalty may be imposed. In those cases, federal workers "shall allow such individual to make an audio recording of such in-person or telephonic interaction."

Jenkins introduced the bill with Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) is expected to introduce a companion bill in the Senate.

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