Democrat tells House Panel that two members of Congress have engaged in sexual harassment

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) told a House panel on Tuesday that at least two current members of Congress have engaged in sexual harassment. “In fact, there are two members...

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) told a House panel on Tuesday that at least two current members of Congress have engaged in sexual harassment.

“In fact, there are two members of Congress, Republican and Democrat, right now, who serve, who have been subject to review or not have been subject to review, but have engaged in sexual harassment,” Speier said in remarks during a House Administration committee hearing on Capitol Hill harassment policies.

Speier did not name either of the lawmakers.

Speier shared her own experience of sexual harassment earlier this month in a video in which she described a chief of staff forcibly kissing her when she was a congressional staffer.

Since then, Speier said her office has received calls from a multitude of current and former Capitol Hill staffers sharing their experiences of sexual harassment.

The harassment ranged from comments asking “Are you going to be a good girl?” and powerful men exposing their genitals.

Earlier this month, Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), now a member of the House Democratic leadership, told The Associated Press that a male lawmaker had repeatedly ogled her and at one point inappropriately touched her on the House floor.

Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), a member of the House Administration Committee, said she had heard of an unidentified male lawmaker who exposed himself to a young female staffer.

According to Comstock, the lawmaker asked the staffer to bring materials to his residence. He opened the door in only a towel, invited the staffer inside, and proceeded to expose himself.

The staffer subsequently quit, Comstock said.

Speier has introduced legislation to require annual sexual harassment awareness training for lawmakers and staff, who would have to file a certificate of completion with the House Ethics Committee.

She is also crafting another bill to overhaul the process available for staff to file harassment complaints with Office of Compliance, which she says discourages victims from coming forward.

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

Source: The Hill (CRISTINA MARCOS)

Photo Credit: Patch

Photo Credit: The Hill

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