A Member of Congress Exposed Himself to a Staffer, Lawmakers Say


On Tuesday, speaking before the Committee on House Administration, Speier said that since launching #MeTooCongress, current and former staffers have flooded her office with stories of unwanted sexual advances, touching, and, in one case, exposure.

"There is a renewed recognition of this problem, rightfully, and a recognition of a culture that looks the other way because of who the offenders are", said Comstock. They said sexual harassment might be pervasive among the thousands of women who work here, and they acknowledged they don't have the rules in place to stop it.

House Speaker Paul Ryan released a statement following the hearing announcing that "the House will adopt a policy of mandatory anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training for all Members and staff".

Speier said, "In fact, there are two members of Congress, Republican and Democrat, right now, who serve, who have been subject to review, or [have not] been subject to review, but have engaged in sexual harassment".

Rep. Barbara ComstockBarbara Jean ComstockWilson endorses Foxx as next House Education chairman House transfers DC Metro board appointments to DOT Dems target DC-area GOP rep on Metro funding MORE (R-Va.), a member of the House Administration Committee, said she had heard of an unidentified male lawmaker who exposed himself to a young female staffer.

After the incident, the woman quit her job. "We can and should lead by example", Ryan said in a letter to members and staff.

Under the current system, staffers must undergo months of counseling and mediation with the employing office before they can formally file a complaint.

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"But that kind of situation, what are we doing right now who are dealing with something like that?"

Addressing the issue will be complex and "at times uncomfortable", Speier said, as she applauded colleagues from both parties for supporting efforts to mandate sexual harassment training.

Until Ryan's announcement Tuesday, there was no requirement for sexual harassment training in the House of Representatives.

Many lawmakers and victims of sexual harassment on Capitol Hill have complained about the process by which sexual harassment reports are handled at the Capitol.

"All they ask in return as staff members is to be able to work in a hostile-free work environment", she continued.

In the Senate, Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, is proposing a bill that would streamline the reporting process in the Office of Compliance, the little-known office that handles such complaints.