Friday, 24 November, 2017

A Member of Congress Exposed Himself to a Staffer, Lawmakers Say

A Member of Congress Exposed Himself to a Staffer, Lawmakers Say Paul Ryan Announces That US House Will Mandate Sexual Harassment Training
Melinda Barton | 15 November, 2017, 00:27

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

"I have had numerous meetings and phone calls with staff members, both present and former, women and men, who have been subjected to this inexcusable and often times illegal behavior", she told the House Administration Committee.

Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) noted that "sexual harassment is a serious problem in our society and Congress is not immune from this issue".

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". "Our goal is not only to raise awareness, but also make abundantly clear that harassment in any form has no place in this institution".

The Senate passed a resolution last week mandating such training for members and aides.

"There are a lot of tales of these guys going out and behaving very badly with younger staffers", said a former House staffer. As Republicans distance themselves from Moore, lawmakers in the House and Senate are working to address sexual misconduct in the Congressional workplace.

During the hearing to review the House's sexual harassment policies, Comstock said it was "important that we name names".

One lawmaker, Republican Rodney Davis of IL, said that some female staffers in his office anxious that "some offices might take a shortcut and not hire women as a way to avoid these issues".

Comstock - who worked on Capitol Hill as a staffer early in her career and served in the Virginia House of Delegates before being elected to represent Northern Virginia's 10th District a year ago - said Congress needs more training and stronger safeguards in place to ensure women don't have to give up their careers to escape sexually aggressive behavior.

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.

"She left, she found another job", Comstock said.

Under the current system, staffers must undergo months of counseling and mediation with the employing office before they can formally file a complaint.

Earlier in the hearing, Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia said a former staffer told her that a Congressman asked a staffer to bring some materials to his residence, greeted her at the door wearing a towel and exposed himself after he invited her inside. "By the way. the general counsel of the House is representing the harasser". Currently, the Office of Compliance handles sexual harassment charges for legislative branch employees in both the House and Senate.