In a letter released earlier today and signed by all 22 women in the Senate, blue and red alike, the all-male Senate leadership is called out over their failure to act on legislation that would overhaul how the sexual harassment complaint process is handled on Capitol Hill. This is one “naming + shaming” move I can get behind.
“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 before a victim can decide whether to seek justice in court or within the administrative process, which came under scrutiny late last year after the Weinstein scandal broke.
Sparked by the aftermath of the #MeToo movement and the increasing reports of members of Congress and staff announcing their resignation 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, and was left out of the 2,200+ page spending bill considered the best bet for enacting sexual harassment legislation that President Donald Trump signed last week. With midterm elections already upon us, few lawmakers think it likely that any further meaningful legislation will hit the President’s desk this year.
Read the full letter here.[pdf-embedder url=”https://musicandmoxie.com/wp-content/media/PDFs/2018-03-28-ltr-mcconnell-schumer-caa-reform.pdf” title=”PDFs photo”]