Speaker Paul Ryan announces House of Representatives to require sexual harassment training
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced Tuesday that all members and staff will be required to complete anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training.
His declaration came after a same-day hearing by the Committee on House Administration, in which two female lawmakers shared stories about sexual misconduct by male colleagues.
"Going forward, the House will adopt a policy of mandatory anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training for all Members and staff," Ryan said 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."
At the hearing, convened to discuss preventing such abuse, Rep. Jackie Speier and Rep. Barbara Comstock revealed instances in which male lawmakers had engaged in sexual harrassment.
Republican Comstock, who represents Virginia, shared a story told to her by a trusted source about a staffer who quit after a congressman asked her to deliver materials to his home and then exposed himself.
"That kind of situation, what are we doing here for women, right now, who are dealing with someone like that?" Comstock said.
California Democrat Speier, who has introduced a bill to make training mandatory, said two sitting lawmakers — one Republican and one Democrat — had also "engaged in sexual harassment."
"In fact there are two members of Congress, Republican and Democrat, who serve right now who have been subject to review, or not been subject to review, that have engaged in sexual harassment," Speier said.
Speier's bill, which has aggregated bipartisan support, takes a comprehensive look at the filing process for sexual harassment complaints.
The lawmaker has said she intends to release a second bill this week that would require offices to list their complaints, outcomes of said complaints and the value of settlements reached.
Speier and Comstock's revelations are only the latest to shock the Hill.
Senate candidate Roy Moore faces allegations of sexual misconduct by multiple women, who say he pursued sexual contact with them in their early teens while he was in his thirties. The Alabama politician, now 72, has vehemently denied all accusations -- despite a signature in one of the alleged victim's high school yearbook which matches his own.