Female senators have crossed party lines to unanimously express their “deep disappointment” in the Senate’s seeming inaction in moving sexual harassment legislation forward.
All 22 Republican and Democratic female senators wrote a letter to the Senate leadership to convey their thoughts on the matter. The lady lawmakers’ collective call to action is for the Senate to vote on the legislation that would drastically change how sexual harassment cases are being handled on Capitol Hill.
The Lady Senators also stated in their letter to the Senate leadership that “inaction is unacceptable.”
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">All 22 female senators want Senate to debate legislation making it easier for people working in Congress to pursue sexual harassment claims. 'Inaction is unacceptable,' they write in letter to Senate leaders: <a href="https://t.co/pF3enmhAjB">https://t.co/pF3enmhAjB</a></p>— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) <a href="https://twitter.com/AP_Politics/status/978983641702387714?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 28, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
The letter of the lady legislators specifically asks to update and strengthen procedures available to survivors of sexual harassment and discrimination in congressional workplaces as part of meaningful reforms to the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995.
The House of Representatives passed a version of the legislation that would reform said law last month. Under the proposed reforms, a more arduous process will be set up for handling sexual harassment complaints on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers would also be held personally liable for paying settlements with their accusers.
Said legislation, however, is hardly moving in the Senate over the last two months. It was even left out of the massive 2,232-page spending bill that Congress passed, and which President Donald Trump signed into law last week.
Some are looking at the spending bill as a lost opportunity for the cause of the sexual harassment legislation since it could have been the best possible vehicle to attach the said legislative piece. Making matters worse-and prospects dimmer for the sexual harassment legislation- is the strong possibility the spending bill is the last piece of major legislation to make it to the President’s desk this year, as attention would soon shift to the midterm elections.
The female lawmakers’ collective letter was sent to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Schumer admitted in a recent media interview that there were some disagreements among “specific provisions” in the sexual-harassment legislation which caused its non-inclusion to the spending bill. Schumer still promised, however, that something would be done about it soon, acknowledging that it is an “important issue.”
The aggressive push for legislation on Capitol Hill started last fall following all the rage on the #MeToo movement, and also came in the wake of several reports exposing how some lawmakers have settled sexual harassment complaints quietly using not their personal or private funds but taxpayer money.