Bi-partisan Lawmakers To Introduce Bill In Light of Congressional Sexual Harassment Settlements

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich. listens as former Justice Department White House liaison Monica Goodling testified before the committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 23, 2007. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)

A bi-partisan group of House members will introduce a bill that will force the House of Representatives to reveal which members have settled harassment allegations using taxpayer dollars.


Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis’s official website posted a statement on Monday saying he was working with other members to draft such a bill.

Since 1995, more than $15 million in taxpayer dollars has been paid out to settle claims, including sexual harassment claims, on behalf of members of Congress and congressional staff.  While the amount of money paid is public, everything else is secret.  The public doesn’t know which members have been involved in taxpayer-financed settlements for alleged misconduct.

I’m working on legislation to unseal the settlement records, bar the use of tax dollars to pay harassment claims against members and staff, prohibit members from using their office budgets to camouflage settlement payments, and require reimbursement of the taxpayer by members and staff who have had settlements paid due to their misconduct.


This bill is a no-brainer following the revelations earlier this month that Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers — also, the longest-serving member of Congress — paid out taxpayer monies to settle multiple sexual harassment claims over the years.



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