› Fe­male mem­bers of Congress de­scribe in­ci­dents of sex­ual ha­rass­ment,

Chattanooga Times Free Press - - FRONT PAGE -

WASH­ING­TON — Speaker Paul Ryan an­nounced the House will re­quire an­ti­ha­rass­ment and anti-dis­crim­i­na­tion train­ing for all mem­bers and their staffs, just hours af­ter a hear­ing in which two fe­male law­mak­ers spoke about in­ci­dents of sex­ual mis­con­duct in­volv­ing sit­ting mem­bers of Congress.

“Our goal is not only to raise aware­ness, but also make abun­dantly clear that ha­rass­ment in any form has no place in this in­sti­tu­tion,” Ryan said. “As we work with the Ad­min­is­tra­tion, Ethics, and Rules com­mit­tees to im­ple­ment manda­tory train­ing, we will con­tinue our re­view to make sure the right poli­cies and re­sources are in place to pre­vent and re­port ha­rass­ment.”

The move comes days af­ter the Se­nate unan­i­mously ap­proved a mea­sure re­quir­ing all sen­a­tors, staff and in­terns to be trained on pre­vent­ing sex­ual ha­rass­ment.

Dur­ing a House Ad­min­is­tra­tion hear­ing Tues­day on sex­ual ha­rass­ment pre­ven­tion, Rep. Bar­bara Com­stock, R-Va., said she was re­cently told about a staffer who quit her job af­ter a law­maker asked her to bring work ma­te­rial to his house, then ex­posed him­self.

“That kind of sit­u­a­tion, what are we do­ing here for women, right now, who are deal­ing with some­one like that?” Com­stock asked. Com­stock said there should be clearcut rules about the kinds of re­la­tion­ships and be­hav­iors that are off-lim­its and cre­ate a hos­tile work en­vi­ron­ment.

Com­stock said the name of the law­maker she men­tioned wasn’t dis­closed to her, but em­pha­sized that nam­ing names is an im­por­tant step in pro­mot­ing ac­count­abil­ity and en­cour­ag­ing vic­tims to come for­ward.

At the same hear­ing, Rep. Jackie Speier said there are two cur­rent law­mak­ers who have been in­volved in sex­ual ha­rass­ment.

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

The Demo­crat from Cal­i­for­nia re­cently in­tro­duced leg­is­la­tion to make train­ing to pre­vent sex­ual ha­rass­ment manda­tory for mem­bers of Congress af­ter shar­ing her own story of be­ing sex­u­ally as­saulted by a male chief of staff. Her bill also in­cludes a sur­vey of the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion in Congress and an over­haul of the pro­cesses by which mem­bers and staffers file ha­rass­ment com­plaints.

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