Texas Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn have joined in backing a bipartisan bill focused on eliminating taxpayer money going to settle harassment allegations against members of Congress.
“In recent months, we’ve seen wave after wave of appalling sexual harassment and assault allegations — from Hollywood, to newsrooms, to the halls of Congress. And powerful men who have abused their positions have been held to account,” Cruz said of the legislation in a statement.
The Congressional Harassment Reform Act is meant to combat sexual harassment by those in Congress by simply forcing them to pay for their own harassment settlements if they are found personally liable, as well as allow the victim choose whether or not the allegations should be made public.
This bill is Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D – N.Y.) most recent attempt at getting Congress’ workplace harassment policy amended and be more transparent.
Of the bill, Gillibrand said in a statement,
“Congress should never be above the law or play by their own set of rules. We must ensure that Congress handles complaints to create an environment where staffers can come forward if something happens to them without having to fear that it will ruin their careers.”
The bill will also make resources previously only available to full-time employees open for interns and fellows who work at the Capitol building.
This is certainly a step in the right direction and is necessary even for those we elect to represent us in Washington, D.C. Perhaps even more so. Those in leadership ought to and should expect to be held to a higher standard. Unfortunately, Americans seem all
Unfortunately, Americans seem all to willing to elect those with sexual harassment claims against them to even the highest offices. Knowing that, the least Congress can do is offer more transparency and protections to victims and slap proved harassers with steeper consequences and public shame.