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GOP lawmaker: Male lawmaker exposed himself to staffer
15 November 2017, 12:39 | Devin Moran
At hearing on sexual harassment in Congress, Virginia Rep. Comstock tells story of sitting member exposing himself to staffer
Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier testified before a House committee on Tuesday that two current members, Democrat and Republican, have sexually harassed staff members, according to stories she's been told. When the staffer arrived, he greeted her while wearing a towel, invited her in and exposed himself, Comstock said.
"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", she said during her testimony.
Until Ryan's announcement Tuesday, there was no requirement for sexual harassment training in the House of Representatives.
House lawmakers on Tuesday will review the chamber's sexual harassment policies in the wake of sweeping allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment that have rocked powerful institutions and industries across the country.
These are a few of the unwritten rules that some female lawmakers, staff and interns say they follow on Capitol Hill, where they say harassment and coercion is pervasive on both sides of the rotunda.
One possible solution to the issue has already been suggested - mandatory sexual harassment training for all lawmakers and their staff.
One lawmaker, Republican Rodney Davis of IL, said that some female staffers in his office anxious that "some offices might take a shortcut and not hire women as a way to avoid these issues".
Between 1997 and 2014, a little known Congressional fund paid out $15.2 million to 235 people who made sexual harassment claims in Congress.
Comstock did not name the member of Congress, whose name wasn't disclosed to her.
Meanwhile, several Democrats are sponsoring legislation that would change the way sexual harassment complaints are handled.
Watch Speier's comments below, via ABC News. "All they ask in return is that we fix our abusive system and hold perpetrators accountable". Then they go through mediation.
"Many of us in Congress know what it's like, because Congress has been a breeding ground for a hostile work environment for far too long", she said in an October video encouraging other staffers to tell their stories. If a member of Congress has been accused, they receive a House lawyer to represent them for free while the accuser does not receive free counsel.
Barbara Childs Wallace, the chair of the Office of Compliance's board of directors, called the mandatory training that lawmakers are calling for a necessary first step, but said more changes are needed to improve the culture on Capitol Hill.
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