Paul Ryan Announces That US House Will Mandate Sexual Harassment Training

House lawmakers hold hearing on sexual harassment in Congress

Congresswomen Allege Sexual Harassment by Lawmakers

Her testimony came on the same day CNN released a report in which more than 50 lawmakers, aides and Washington, D.C. veterans described a climate of "constant harassment - both subtle and explicit" on Capitol Hill.

The move comes days after the Senate unanimously approved a measure requiring all senators, staff and interns to be trained on preventing sexual harassment.

"Going forward, the House will adopt a policy of mandatory anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training for all Members and staff", he said in a statement.

Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Virginia), a member of the committee that Speier was speaking to, shared a story she had heard of a congressman exposing himself to a female staffer after the staffer dropped materials off at his residence.

Comstock told the story involving the unidentified congressman at a hearing on preventing sexual harassment in Congress, saying she doesn't know who the member is but heard the story from a trustworthy source.

At the same hearing, Rep. Jackie Speier said there are two current lawmakers who have been involved in sexual harassment. When the staffer arrived, he greeted her while wearing a towel, invited her in and exposed himself, Comstock said. "At that point, he made a decision to expose himself", Comstock said. She's planning to introduce the ME TOO Congress Act to "overhaul the flawed complaint process, while providing better support for victims and whistleblowers".

Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) noted that "sexual harassment is a serious problem in our society and Congress is not immune from this issue". As Republicans distance themselves from Moore, lawmakers in the House and Senate are working to address sexual misconduct in the Congressional workplace.

"I think it's important we name names", Comstock said.

She said that when she was just starting her career in politics, the chief of staff in her office sexually assaulted her. But he expressed concern that the increasing focus on gender hostility in the workplace could create unintended consequences, including "that some offices may just take a short cut and not hire women as a way to avoid these issues".

Under the current system, staffers must undergo months of counseling and mediation with the employing office before they can formally file a complaint. In the wake of the allegations, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republicans have said Moore should step aside. One Republican has suggested that if elected, Moore should be expelled from the Senate.

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