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National

Congress quietly preserves ability to pay sexual harassment settlements with taxpayer money

[thinkprogress.org]

An overhaul of Capitol Hill’s workplace misconduct system is in jeopardy and likely won’t be attached to a government spending bill this week, diminishing the likelihood of reform before the midterm elections, according to Politico.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who introduced the bipartisan Congressional Harassment Reform Act last December, said on Monday that House and Senate leadership “stripped” provisions from the language from the spending bill at the eleventh hour.

“I am appalled that House and Senate leadership removed provisions from the omnibus bill at the last minute that would have finally brought accountability and transparency to Congress’s sexual harassment reporting process,” said Gillibrand in a statement released Monday.

Among its provisions, the act requires that members of Congress personally pay for sexual harassment settlements when they are found liable. Currently, lawmakers can tap taxpayer funds to settle with victims. Also, unless the victim opts for privacy, under the act, settlements would automatically be made public, thus lifting the veil of secrecy around the process.

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Join the discussion

  1. Eric

    So those actually currently engaged in sexually inappropriate acts are protecting themselves, while those of us who made a mistake a decade or two ago and no longer do it are punished for life by the same people.

  2. Robin

    They are a risk to the public and should be placed on the registry. After all isn’t that what they say about other minor crimes having to do with sex.
    Bet you’re bottom dollar if there was a chance they would be they would quickly pass laws to change SORNA.

    “it’s not sex” Bill Clinton

  3. Robin

    Bill Clinton….speaking of which. Since he admitted to it happening, said it wasn’t sex but it happened while married to another….That means he committed adultery and that is a crime where if he ever sets foot in Fla. he would have to register. Remember many state now have “no statute of limitations”, clauses concerning sex charges. Not stating Fla. does but used this for as example only concerning the nature, and because I think adultery is one that gets you on the register there.

  4. Anonymous

    Makes me puke. Politicians write the laws with loopholes for themselves. Bring up the public sex offender registry that covers Washington DC and tell me who you see on there. One after another, after another and on and on and on… black males. That’s it. Tonz of them.

  5. Not Really

    They granted themselves these back door protections about the time they were passing Megan’s Law. Seems they wanted to avoid being a registrant.

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