House Passes Bills to Address Sexual Harassment in Congress
(Washington D.C.) Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.B. 4294, the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 Reform Act, and H. Res. 724, which would implement long-overdue reforms to the only legislative effort addressing sexual harassment in Congress. The bills extend protections from harassment and discrimination to more individuals, substantially improve the process for reporting and resolving claims, and promote prevention through mandatory anti-harassment training and policies. Notably, the bill also increases accountability for harassers, including by requiring Members of Congress to reimburse taxpayer funds used to settle claims against them.
The following is a statement by Fatima Goss Graves, President & CEO of the National Women’s Law Center:
“Today, our nation’s lawmakers set the stage for real change by tackling sexual harassment in Congress for the first time in over 20 years. It is particularly encouraging to see bipartisan leadership of these important bills, which will provide the legislative workforce with stronger protections against harassment and discrimination and increase accountability and transparency. We appreciate the leadership of Chairman Harper, Ranking Member Brady and are grateful to Representative Speier, who has led Congressional reform efforts for years and works tirelessly to support victims. House members today voted for real reform and concrete solutions. Individuals working in Congress – and in all workplaces – deserve nothing less. We urge the Senate to pass this legislation expeditiously.”