1 Year After Sexual Harassment Reforms, Lawmakers Seek to Broaden Protections on Capitol Hill

Advocates who helped spur changes in Congress after #MeToo movement look to expand discrimination protections

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

One year after the enactment of major reforms addressing sexual harassment in Congress, a bipartisan group of lawmakers have introduced new legislation to address provisions left out of the 2018 law, NBC News reports.

The new proposal would seek to make members of Congress personally liable for settlements of claims for discrimination against them, something that was stripped from the original measure after months of tense negotiations and objections by the Senate last year.

“I think men and women who serve as staff or as interns and fellows in the House or Senate should be safe, and they should not be preyed on by persons in power,” Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., who co-authored the legislation, told NBC News about the new proposed bill. “It’s our responsibility to make sure that there’s a safe environment for people to work.

The Congressional Accountability Act Reform Act passed Congress last year after the #metoo movement and a series of allegations rocked Capitol Hill and led lawmakers to address problems caused by a culture of sexual harassment and a complaint system stacked against the victim.

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