House plans training on harassment
WASHINGTON — Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday that the House will require anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training for all members and their staffs. The announcement came just hours after a hearing in which two female lawmakers spoke about 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,” said Ryan, R-wis. “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 policy change will happen through legislation.
The move comes days after the Senate unanimously approved a measure requiring all senators, staff and interns to be trained on preventing sexual harassment.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch Mcconnell, R-KY., said Tuesday he wanted to work with the White House to explore ways to keep embattled Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore from taking office if he wins a special election in Alabama.
Speaking to reporters at the U.S. Capitol, Mcconnell said he had been in contact with President Donald Trump and others about sexual misconduct allegations against Moore. “He’s obviously not fit to be in the United States Senate,” Mcconnell said.
Five women have accused Moore of sexual misconduct stemming from when he was in his 30s and they were teenagers. Moore, now 70, has denied the allegations.
Trump returned to Washington on Tuesday evening from a 12-day trip to Asia, and Mcconnell said he planned to discuss Moore’s situation with the president.
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.
At the same hearing, Rep. Jackie Speier, D-calif., said two current lawmakers 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,” Speier said.