House lawmakers hold hearing on sexual harassment in Congress

House lawmakers hold hearing on sexual harassment in Congress

Speier did not name the members.

Last week the Senate just passed a resolution making sexual harassment training mandatory for not only staffers and interns but also for Senate lawmakers.

Earlier this month, Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), now a member of the House Democratic leadership, told The Associated Press that a male lawmaker had repeatedly ogled her and at one point inappropriately touched her on the House floor.

Speier said, "In fact, there are two members of Congress, Republican and Democrat, right now, who serve, who have been subject to review, or [have not] been subject to review, but have engaged in sexual harassment".

Like in many industries, sexual misconduct among lawmakers and staffers in Congress has been an open secret for years.

"Going forward, the House will adopt a policy of mandatory anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training for all members and staff", the Wisconsin Republican said in a statement.

Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), a member on the committee, also said she had heard of a congressman who is now serving who had exposed himself to a young female staffer.

"At that point, he chose to expose himself".

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Showing she's the ideal little sis, Bella was more than happy to hold Gigi's hand as they headed to the venue. And I want you to imagine the affect you have on the world", E! online quoted Serena, as saying.

"What are we doing here for women right now", she added, "who are dealing with someone like that?"

Both House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell support ramping up sexual harassment training, as does House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Testimony detailed that while Congress demands private companies have fair ways for accusers to pursue sexual harassment claims, Congress' own sexual harassment complaint process has stacked the deck in favor of members of Congress against their accusers.

One possible solution to the issue has already been suggested - mandatory sexual harassment training for all lawmakers and their staff. Alabama's Republican nominee for Senate has come under fire after several women have come forward with accounts of sexually inappropriate behavior or, in at least one case, assault, at Moore's hand when they were teenagers. If a member of Congress has been accused, they receive a House lawyer to represent them for free while the accuser does not receive free counsel.

Office of Compliance staff who testified before the committee said mandatory in-person training would be a good first step toward preventing harassment.

In the Senate, Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, is proposing a bill that would streamline the reporting process in the Office of Compliance, the little-known office that handles such complaints.

"Leadership within each office is also important, and letting the employees know where they can go to complain is vitally important", Childs Wallace told lawmakers.

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