Paul Ryan orders mandatory sexual harassment training for members, staff

Modesto Morganelli
Novembre 15, 2017

House Speaker Paul Ryan announced the mandatory training today after two female members of the House appeared at a Committee on House Administration hearing about harassment to inform them women are being harassed.

Ryan says in a statement, "our goal is not only to raise awareness, but also make abundantly clear that harassment in any form has no place in this institution".

The policy change will happen through legislation.

Last week the Senate passed a resolution requiring senators, staffers and interns to participate in mandatory sexual harassment training, as lawmakers and staff have grown increasingly outspoken about widespread predatory behavior on Capitol Hill. "But that kind of situation - what are we doing here for women right now who are dealing with somebody like that?"

Neither Speier nor Comstock named the legislators, though the Republican testified that it was "important that we name names".

The announcement comes shortly after the Committee on House Administration held a hearing during which two female lawmakers shared stories about current members of Congress engaging in sexual harassment.

"There are two members of congress, Republican and Democrat, right now, who serve, that have engaged in sexual harassment", Speier told the panel.

Following last week's resounding Democratic sweep in gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey, Ryan said that getting tax reform passed is crucial for Republicans who lack any major legislative victories since President Trump took office nearly 10 months ago.

Representative Gregg Harper, Republican of MS, who chairs the House Administration Committee, said in his opening remarks, "I believe we need mandatory training, and probably everyone here would agree".

Speier said since coming forward with her story she's been inundated with phone calls from staffers eager to share their own accounts of harassment and abuse.

"I think what people want to know and see is that this Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDems win from coast to coast Falwell after Gillespie loss: "DC should annex" Northern Virginia Dems see gains in Virginia's House of Delegates MORE presidency and this Republican Congress makes a positive difference", he added.

One Republican lawmaker, Rodney Davis of IL, said addressing the issue of sexual harassment on the Hill is "long overdue" and that Congress must "lead by example".

Gloria Lett, counsel for the Office of House Employment Counsel, replied that such discrimination is illegal.

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