Every Woman in Senate Calls Out Leadership Failure to Address Sexual Harassment in Congress

News
By the Web Editors 3-29-2018
Image via REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Every woman in the Senate is calling out Senate leadership on their failure to act on enforcing legislation that would address sexual harassment and discrimination in a letter released March 28, according to CNN

The bipartisan letter calls for a vote on the legislation that would overhaul how the sexual harassment complaint process is handled on Capitol Hill. 

The letter, addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), was spearheaded by Democratic Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and signed by all 22 female U.S. senators — Republicans and Democrats alike.

“Survivors who have bravely come forward to share their stories have brought to light just how widespread harassment and discrimination continue to be throughout Capitol Hill,” the senators write. “No longer can we allow the perpetrators of these crimes to hide behind a 23-year-old law. It’s time to rewrite the Congressional Accountability Act and update the process through which survivors seek justice.”

Passed in 1995, the Congressional Accountability Act involves "a month-long counseling session, forced mediation and a 30-day “cooling off” period — all of this taking place before a victim can make a decision whether to pursue further action either in a courtroom or within the administrative process," reports ABC News

Sparked by the #MeToo movement and the increasing reports of members of Congress and staff announcing their resignment or retirement after facing claims of sexual misconduct, the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill to reform the Congressional Accountability Act in February. 

However, the legislation has yet to be addressed by the Senate, CNN reports

The legislation was noticeably left out of the massive, 2,232-page spending bill that Congress passed, and President Donald Trump signed into law last week – calling into question its path forward.
 
The spending bill had been widely seen among lawmakers as the best possible vehicle to attach legislation addressing sexual harassment. And it is seen by many as likely the last piece of major legislation to make it to the President's desk this year, as the midterm elections grow closer.

Read the full letter below.

Don't Miss a Story!

Get Sojourners delivered straight to your inbox.

Have Something to Say?

Add or Read Comments on
"Every Woman in Senate Calls Out Leadership Failure to Address Sexual Harassment in Congress"
Launch Comments
By commenting here, I agree to abide by the Sojourners Comment Community Covenant guidelines and acknowledge that my comment may be published in the Letters to the Editor section of Sojourners magazine.

Must Reads

Subscribe