Senators Crafting Bipartisan Changes To Hill’s Sexual Harassment Policies

AP

Two Republican senators have joined with a Democrat to propose a resolution requiring Capitol Hill staffers to undergo sexual harassment training and updating the procedures for reporting and addressing harassment complaints, Politico reported Wednesday evening.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), the chair of the Senate Rules Committee, are the Republicans leading the effort, and they have recruited Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) as a Democratic sponsor, according to Politico.

Capito told Politico that their resolution will have similarities to a proposal from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) mandating sexual harassment training, but will go further in that it will make changes to the way complaints are handled.

“It goes a little further but it’s a little tighter in terms of how the rules would change to meet the demands of where we are now,” she said.

Capito also told Politico that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “is fully on board.”

Sexual harassment policies on Capitol Hill have come under scrutiny after several high profile figures like Harvey Weinstein have faced public allegations of sexual misconduct.

Congress does not currently mandate that all staffers receive sexual harassment training, and rules require those alleging harassment to sit for mediation or counseling before actually filing a formal complaint.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) raised concerns about Capitol Hill’s policies for addressing sexual harassment in October, calling the current system “toothless.” She also plans to introduce legislation to update the way complaints are handled.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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