Ryan: House Will Adopt Mandatory ‘Anti-Harassment’ Training

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., meets reporters as the White House and congressional Republicans are finalizing a tax plan, at Republican National Committee Headquarters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017. Ryan began his remarks by promising help for devastated Puerto Rico, calling it a "humanitarian crisis." (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Tuesday announced that the House will adopt “mandatory anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training” for lawmakers and staff after a hearing earlier Tuesday on a bill that would make such training mandatory.

“Going forward, the House will adopt a policy of mandatory anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training for all Members and staff,” Ryan said in a statement.

He said Tuesday’s hearing “was another important step in our efforts to combat sexual harassment and ensure a safe workplace” and said that “harassment in any form has no place in this institution.”

“I want to especially thank my colleagues who shared their stories,” Ryan said. “We will continue our review to make sure the right policies and resources are in place to prevent and report harassment.”

During a hearing by the House Administration Committee on Tuesday, Reps. Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Barbara Comstock (R-VA), both women, said several men who are current members of Congress have been accused of sexual misconduct.

Comstock said she heard a story from a trusted source about a male lawmaker who answered the door wearing only a towel to a female staffer delivering documents to his home. The lawmaker then invited the staffer inside and exposed himself to her, according to Comstock.

Speier said she heard allegations this year of interns getting propositioned for sex and “victims having their private parts grabbed on the House floor,” and will introduce a bill later this week to reform the current process for reporting sexual harassment on Capitol Hill.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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