sexual harassment

House Could Go Its Own Way on Sexual Harassment Policy, Says Pelosi

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the House could accept some of the Senate’s sexual harassment proposals and then tighten their own rules. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nancy Pelosi has a plan to move forward on the proposals to overhaul sexual harassment policies on Capitol Hill before year’s end, but House Republicans say they’re still working on a strong compromise. Senators, meanwhile, are looking past negotiations and toward getting a final bill passed.

The House minority leader signaled Thursday that House negotiators may be willing to accept some of the Senate language that they’ve been rejecting for being less stringent. 

Clock Ticks Down on Sexual Harassment Proposals for Congress
#MeToo provided momentum earlier in the year, but that has stalled

Congress is running out of time to enact changes to how sexual harassment is handled in their own workplace. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress is running out of time to make changes to how sexual harassment is handled in its own workplace, as negotiations between House and Senate proposals drag on and legislative days dry up.

Leaders in both chambers say they want to finish reconciling the legislation and move toward implementing change before the lame-duck session is over, but it’s unclear if that will happen.

Ethics Committee Cites ‘Recent Experience’ as Need for Sexual Harassment Overhaul
Panel suggests difficulty obtaining information from the Office of Compliance

The House Ethics Committee is urging quick passage of legislation to address sexual harassment. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The 10 members of the House Ethics Committee are urging the top four congressional leaders to quickly pass anti-sexual harassment legislation to overhaul the Congressional Accountability Act, noting the House bill would provide solutions to problems the panel has encountered this year. 

In a letter dated Monday that all members signed, they cite the House bill’s provision that would require the Office of Compliance, which would be renamed the Office of Workplace Rights, to refer certain matters to the committee, providing the panel access to any records regarding investigations, hearings, decisions, settlements or claims.

Ethics Committee Finds Mark Meadows in Violation of House Rules

The House Ethics Committee found Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., in violation of House rules due to how he handled a sexual harassment allegations against one of his staff members. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House Ethics Committee found Rep. Mark Meadows failed to take “prompt and decisive action” to handle alleged sexual harassment in his congressional office, according to a Friday report.

The committee also found Meadows violated House rules by failing to take action to ensure his office was not engaging in discrimination.

Time Running Out on Hill Sexual Harassment Reforms, Former Staffers Warn
One year after #metoo movement spurred Congress to action, House and Senate bills could expire

Senate staffers and visitors pass by the plexiglass-enclosed displays of the various U.S. Capitol building design models in the Hart Senate Office Building on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress will forfeit a passed bill from each chamber aimed at curbing sexual harassment unless lawmakers can come together before year’s end.

“Time is running out,” said Kristin Nicholson, co-founder of Congress Too, a group of former Hill staffers that has sought to reform the way Congress approaches staff training and response to sexual harassment allegations. “We really want all that progress not to go to waste, and for that to happen, we need something to be passed this year.”

Tennessee Senate Candidates' Debate Finale 
 

Kavanaugh Controversy and Violence Against Women Act Collide on Capitol Hill
Not the first time a Supreme Court fight and VAWA have been linked

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., hold a press conference with Holton-Arms alumnae in support of Christine Blasey Ford in the Hart Senate Office Building on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh upended his confirmation process and brought sexual misconduct back into the spotlight on Capitol Hill. While the Senate Judiciary Committee digs into what happened more than 30 years ago, other lawmakers are working to extend and expand protections for victims under the Violence Against Women Act.

The competing claims from Ford and Kavanaugh have divided both the Senate and the country, with Ford accusing Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a party when they were teenagers, and Kavanaugh issuing blanket denials and saying he welcomes the chance to “clear my name.” 

56 Arrested Demonstrating Support for Christine Blasey Ford
Protesters rally against nomination of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Capitol Police arrested 56 protesters who were demonstrating support for Christine Blasey Ford.(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Police arrested 56 protesters Thursday who flooded Senate office buildings  to voice opposition to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and express support for his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford.

Thirty-three protesters were arrested outside of Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley’s office in the Hart Building on Thursday afternoon. The demonstrators were charged with “crowding, obstructing, or incommoding.” Earlier in the day, Capitol Police arrested 23 protesters outside the Dirksen Building office of Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker for “unlawful demonstration activities.” They faced the same charges.

Former Hill Staffers Who Were Victims of Sexual Harassment Call for Leaders to Act
Differences still being worked out between House bill passed bill in February and Senate version passed in May

Seven former Capitol Hill staffers penned a letter Thursday urging action on sexual harassment policies in Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Seven former congressional staffers who experienced sexual harassment or assault while working on Capitol Hill sent a letter to House and Senate leaders Thursday urging them to enact changes to harassment and discrimination policies. 

“We write to remind you, and every member of the 115th Congress, not only of the pain we suffered, but also of the shame and humiliation that current staffers must bear when they too are victimized by harmful and discriminatory actions from a member of Congress, a supervisor, or a colleague,” wrote the seven women.