Two US lawmakers engaged in sexual harassment: congresswomen




US House Democrat Jackie Speier, who last month revealed how she was abused when she was a young congressional staffer, has called for comprehensive reforms of harassment policies in Congress
US House Democrat Jackie Speier, who last month revealed how she was abused when she was a young congressional staffer, has called for comprehensive reforms of harassment policies in Congress  

Washington (AFP) - Two US lawmakers stood accused of sexual harassment Tuesday, including one who allegedly exposed himself to a young staffer, amid mounting concern over abuse on Capitol Hill.

With a broadening national spotlight on sexual misconduct in Hollywood, the media and politics, Congress has begun to address the accusations of abuse and demands by some 1,500 former staffers that comprehensive reforms be instituted.

The claims also come as conservative ex-judge Roy Moore, a candidate for US Senate, faces startling accusations by five women claiming he sexually assaulted or pursued them when they were teenagers in Alabama.

House Democrat Jackie Speier, an advocate for an improved anti-harassment system in Congress, said she was aware of two sitting congressmen, a Republican and a Democrat she did not name, who "have engaged in sexual harassment."

"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.

She painted a picture of sexual predation on Capitol Hill, which included "victims having their private parts grabbed on the House floor."

Her colleague, House Republican Barbara Comstock, told the panel of a young staffer who delivered documents to her lawmaker boss's residence and was greeted by the congressman, who was wearing only a towel.

"At that point, he decided to expose himself. She left, and then she quit her job," Comstock said.

"But that kind of situation -- what are we doing here for women right now who are dealing with somebody like that?"

- 'Deep concern' -

As for Moore, he has denied the allegations against him, but his support among mainstream Republicans has plummeted one month before the December 12 special election.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan have called on him to exit the race, while the editorial board of the Alabama Media Group branded him "grossly unfit for office."

Speaking to reporters outside the Senate, McConnell acknowledged the Moore scandal has rattled the party as it seeks to maintain its 52-48 majority in the chamber.

"There's no question that there's deep concern here," McConnell said, adding that he has spoken with President Donald Trump about how to deal with Moore.

"He's obviously not fit to be in the United States Senate, and we've looked at all the options to try to prevent that from happening."

The House hearing addressed the need to update the chamber's policies on misconduct claims, and bipartisan calls to implement mandatory sexual harassment training for both lawmakers and staff.

On cue, Speaker Ryan announced that "going forward, the House will adopt a policy of mandatory anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training for all members and staff."

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

Speier herself acknowledged last month that she was the victim of abuse when she worked as a congressional staffer decades ago.

"Many of us in Congress know what it's like, because Congress has been a breeding ground for a hostile work environment for far too long," she said in an October video encouraging other staffers to tell their stories.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Billy Graham to lie in honor at Capitol: House speaker
Billy Graham to lie in honor at Capitol: House speaker
  • US
  • 2018-02-22 18:24:30Z

The body of evangelist Billy Graham will lie in honor under the U.S. Capitol rotunda next week as Congress pays tribute to a clergyman who counseled presidents and preached the Gospel to millions worldwide, House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Thursday. Graham, who died at his home near Asheville, North Carolina, on Wednesday at age 99, will arrive at the white-domed Capitol on Feb. 28 and lie in honor there until the following day, Ryan said in a statement. "Members of the public and Capitol Hill community are invited to pay their respects to the late reverend while he lies in rest," the speaker of the House of Representatives said.

At Last, We May Get Our First Native American Woman In Congress
At Last, We May Get Our First Native American Woman In Congress

WASHINGTON ― Deb Haaland wishes people could just ignore President Donald Trump.

Democrats want $300 million to fight possible Russia election tampering
Democrats want $300 million to fight possible Russia election tampering

By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Democratic leaders called on Congress on Wednesday to give the Federal Bureau of Investigation $300 million to fight foreign efforts to interfere in congressional and state elections in November, amid growing concerns about potential Russian influence on the polls. Citing warnings from intelligence agencies that Russia is trying to influence the upcoming vote, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House of Representatives Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi asked that the additional funds be included in a bill to fund the government which Congress aims to pass by March 23.

Report Alleges Rampant Sexual Misconduct At Dallas Mavericks
Report Alleges Rampant Sexual Misconduct At Dallas Mavericks

A Sports Illustrated report detailing widespread workplace sexual misconduct in the Dallas Mavericks organization that involved its former CEO is sending shock waves through the league and drawing sharp criticism.

94 percent of women in Hollywood have experienced sexual harassment or assault, survey says
94 percent of women in Hollywood have experienced sexual harassment or assault, survey says

USA Today asked 843 women (a self-selected sample of the two organizations' collective membership) in a variety of positions in Hollywood about their experience with sexual misconduct in the workplace. The most common behavior described was "unwelcome sexual comments, jokes or gestures to or about you," which was experienced by 87 percent of respondents.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.