Rep. Joe Neguse

Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado speaks in support of his bill to protect private sector whistleblowers on Dec. 8, 2020. The bill ultimately was signed into law by President Trump.

U.S. Rep. Joe Neguse said his time leading Colorado's Department of Regulatory Affairs showed him the need to protect consumers as his office heralded the freshman lawmaker's seventh bill to become law Monday.

President Trump signed Neguse's bipartisan Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act, legislation that enjoyed high-powered support, including high-ranking Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who carried the bill in the upper chamber.

Trump signed the bill just before Christmas, Neguse's office said in a press release Monday afternoon.

The new law extends whistleblower protections in the private sector to those who report criminal antitrust violations.

On the House floor in support of the bill on Dec. 8, Neguse cited his time managing a staff of 600 for then-Gov. John Hickenlooper, who will take a seat in the U.S. Senate next month. The new legislation is in keeping with the same mission to protect the public, he said.

“The Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act is another tool that can be used in the toolbox of regulators here in Washington, as we work to make consumer protection a priority, and partner with those in the private sector who wish to report abuse of an anti-competitive conduct that might be happening in the broader marketplace,” Neguse said.

Neguse is the vice chair of the House's Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee. In October, Trump signed his bill to reauthorize an antitrust enforcement program.

Consumers wind up paying higher prices for goods, lose the benefits of innovation and have fewer choices in the marketplace when the violations go unreported, Neguse's office said Monday. Employees are critical to the integrity of antitrust laws, by reporting crimes such as price gouging and fixing.

Neguse's office said the legislation is based on recommendations in a 2011 Government Accountability Office report.

You can watch Neguse’s floor remarks on the bill by clicking here.

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