House to adopt anti-harassment training
WASHINGTON — Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday announced the House will require anti-harassment 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 clear-cut 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 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.
House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that anti-harassment training will be required of all members and staff.