Curtis Denies Protecting Police Chief Accused of Sexual Misconduct
Provo chief John King was forced out of office last year after he was accused of assaulting a volunteer

Rep. John Curtis, R-Utah, denied knowing about sexual harassment claims against Provo’s former police chief. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Utah Rep. John Curtis is denying charges that he ignored sexual harassment complaints about Provo’s former police chief.

Curtis, who was mayor of Provo before his election to the House last year, sent a statement Wednesday to media outlets in response to a lawsuit filed the day before, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Lawmakers Push for Sexual Harassment Bill in Spending Package
Bipartisan coalition, Speaker want legislation included in omnibus

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wisc., left, and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., arrive to hold a press conference following the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans and Democrats are making a last-minute bid to add legislation that would address the sexual harassment of staffers by members of Congress on the omnibus appropriations bill.

With dozens of policy issues still in flux as part of the full-year fiscal 2018 spending package, some lawmakers are upset by indications a bill that would implement robust sexual harassment policies in Congress is currently not part of the omnibus. The House passed the anti-sexual harassment measure, as well as sweeping rules changes aimed at protecting staffers, by voice vote on Feb. 6.

Paul Ryan Yields to Trump on High-Profile Issues
Speaker hedges on omnibus, sexual harassment, tariffs

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., closes the door as he prepares to hold a press conference following the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday. Also pictured, from left, are Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan laughed Tuesday when a reporter asked him if he thinks President Donald Trump should stop attacking special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. 

“The special counsel should be free to follow through with his investigation to its completion without interference, absolutely,” Ryan said. “I am confident that he’ll be able to do that. I’ve received assurances that his firing is not even under consideration.”

Democratic Campaigns Start Unionizing in #MeToo Era
Move could protect against sexual harassment and lead to better employee benefits

Wisconsin Democrat Randy Bryce, who is challenging Speaker Paul D. Ryan, says letting his campaign workers unionize was “a natural thing to do.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Randy Bryce’s campaign for Wisconsin’s 1st District was only two staffers deep, one of them told him he was thinking of forming a union.

“There wasn’t really thought involved,” said the Democrat challenging Speaker Paul D. Ryan about allowing his campaign staff to unionize.

Congress to Explore Sexual Harassment in the Service Industry
Bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues hosting hearing Monday

Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., says for women working in the service industry, “quitting is not an option.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress wants to take a harder look at victims of sexual harassment who don’t have much clout.

The bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues is hosting a hearing, “Beyond the Headlines: Combating Service Sector Sexual Harassment in the Age of #MeToo” on Monday.

For Harassment Cases, House Staffers Have Key Legal Resource Others Don’t
Most federal employees on the Hill don’t have access to free lawyer

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, right, and California Rep. Jackie Speier hold a news conference in November to introduce legislation to address and prevent sexual harassment for Capitol Hill staffers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Thanks to new internal House policies, staffers in the chamber now have access to a 24/7 hotline for legal advice on employment complaints. They can even retain a free lawyer for the entire in-house counseling and mediation process when they think they’ve been harassed, discriminated against or otherwise aggrieved.

But if you’re a U.S. Capitol Police officer, a janitor at the Capitol, an intern on the Senate side or a gardener at the Library of Congress — well, you’re on your own.

Pelosi Mum on Whether Kihuen Should Seek Re-election
Nevada congressman announced he wouldn’t seek re-election after sexual harassment allegations

Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., and his guest Astrid Silva, a Dreamer, are seen in the Capitol Rotunda before President Donald Trump's State of the Union address in January. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was mum on whether Nevada Rep. Ruben Kihuen should seek re-election after saying he would not after being accused of sexual harassment.

“When he makes a decision, I’ll give you a reaction to it,” the Democratic leader said at a press conference Thursday.

#MeToo Era Breathes New Life Into Equal Rights Amendment Crusade
Nearly 40 years after amendment failed to garner support of three-quarters of states, activists remain optimistic

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., introduced a joint resolution in February 2017 to facilitate the ratification of the elusive Equal Rights Amendment. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As millions of women are speaking out against sexual predators as part of the #MeToo movement, prompting deeper discussions about the feminist movement at large, Equal Rights Amendment activists have renewed hope that they can finally secure the ratification of a 24-word amendment five decades after it first garnered the necessary majorities in the U.S. House and Senate.

“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex,” the amendment states.

New Training Available for Hill Staffers Who Witness Sexual Harassment
Lawmakers implemented training requirements late last year

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., right, and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., introduced legislation to address and prevent sexual harassment for Capitol Hill staff late last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New training is now available for staffers on Capitol Hill on what to do as a bystander or witness to sexual harassment as offices move to comply with the new anti-harassment training requirements implemented by the House and Senate late last year.

“If you see something, say something” may work for unattended bags on  the Metro, but what to do when you’re witnessing sexual harassment in the workplace is less straightforward. The Office of Compliance, which oversees workplace rights and training for Capitol Hill is introducing trainings — both online modules and in-person — on bystander intervention and general training to combat workplace harassment.

Former Meehan Chief of Staff Resigns from Dunn’s Office
Comes after being named in ethics probe of his former boss

The former chief of staff to Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Fla., resigned amid an ethics probe. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The chief of staff for Florida Rep. Neal Dunn has resigned amid being cited in a House Ethics Committee probe of his former boss Pennsylvania Rep. Pat Meehan.

The House Ethics Committee announced the creation of a subcommittee to investigate Brian Schubert and Meehan, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. Schubert previously worked for Meehan.