Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) testified in a House committee hearing Tuesday that two current members of Congress are known for sexually harassing staffers.
"In fact, there are two members of Congress, Republican and Democrat, right now who serve, who have been subject to review or have not been subject to review, but have engaged in sexual harassment", Speier said in her testimony before the House Administration Committee, which held a hearing on sexual harassment in Congress Tuesday morning.
"All they ask in return as staff members is to be able to work in a hostile-free work environment", she continued.
The Democrat from California recently introduced legislation to make sexual harassment training mandatory for members of Congress after sharing her own story of being assaulted by a male chief of staff. In recent days Alabama's Republican nominee for Senate has come under fire after several women have come forward with accounts of sexually inappropriate behavior or, in at least one case, assault, at Moore's hand when they were teenagers.
"What are we doing for women right now who are dealing with somebody like that?" she asked.
"Whether it's Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Bill O'Reilly, Mark Halperin, Roger Ailes, Kevin Spacey or one of our own, it's time to say no more", Comstock said at the House Administration Committee hearing on Capitol Hill.
The Senate last week unanimously approved a measure requiring all senators, staff and interns to be trained on preventing sexual harassment. She did not know the identity of the congressman. Currently, the Office of Compliance handles sexual harassment charges for legislative branch employees in both the House and Senate. After 30 days of mandatory mediation, during which the office or member is represented by House of Representatives counsel, they then have to go through a 30 day "cooling off period".
Speier has proposed mandating harassment training, instituting biannual surveys to address the scope of the problem on Capitol Hill and reforming the "broken" reporting process, which she described as slow and ineffective. Once those 90 days are up, the victim can then file a formal complaint.
Barbara Child Wallace, the chair of the Office of Compliance's board of directors, defended the existing process, and told the committee more could be done to raise awareness of the current reporting procedures.
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