tv U.S. House of Representatives on Sexual Harassment CSPAN February 6, 2018 1:48pm-2:39pm EST
the mueller investigation. over the weekend the president claimed total vindication from the nunes -- was he vindicated in any way? speaker ryan: this is about fisa abuse and about holding our government accountable and this is about congress doing its job in conducting oversight over the executive branch which in this particular case has been given great power over us as citizens. we need to make sure that power is used correctly. thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> currently on capitol hill, the house in recess. when members return expect work to start short-term measure funding the federal government through march 23. earlier today passage in the
house of two bills dealing with sexual harassment in congress. here's some of the debate. gentleman is recognized. mr. harper: mr. speaker, a little more than three months ago you tasked the committee on the house administration with a great responsibility to undertake a comprehensive review of the training, policies, and mechanisms to guard against sexual harassment in the congressional workplace. i believe that the legislation we're considering today, h.r. 4924, the congressional accountability act of 1995 reform act, and immediately following that the house resolution together respond to this great task. at the outset i'd like to thank the speaker of the house, paul ryan, for his leadership on this issue and the trust he placed on our committee to conduct this important review. i'd also like to thank and work done the
on the committee on the committee on house administration, thrick the ranking member, mr. brady, he has been a great friend and colleague over o the last decade and i appreciate being able to work closely on this issue with him. . both the c.a.a. reform act reflect the dedication and commitment of a bipartisan group of members, including representatives byrne, speier, brooks and deutch who want to ensure this institution remains worthy of the trust placed in it by the american people. i also want to thank representatives desantis, love, comstock, and chris smith for their contributions to this bill. as i have said previously and will state again unequivocally, there is no place for sleafment or any type of harass -- sexual harassment or any type of harassment, period, in the u.s. house of representatives. there is no secret, the culture on capitol hill is unique. while there are hundreds of employing offices, we should all share the common goal of creating an effective work environments, environments that are safe, productive, collegial
and most important responsive, responsive to the needs of our constituents and the public. during our review, the committee held two hearings, three member listening sessions, a roundtable discussion with stakeholders and meetings with victims and their advocates to examine how we can improve the workplace for everyone. we found the congressional accountability act of 1995 to be outdated and in need of this comprehensive reform. we found the house training programs to be inadequate in order to meet the needs of all house employees. additionally, we found that our house policies and procedures are in need of change as it relates to sexual harassment in the workplace. last november, the house took the first step in addressing these issues by passing h.res. 630, a resolution that among other things requires all house employees to take annual in-person anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training. passage of the c.a.a. reform
act is the logical next step. the c.a.a. reform act makes a number of important reforms to the congressional accountability act that will ensure its future effectiveness, including reforming the dispute resolution process to establish procedures for initiating, investigating and resolving alleged violations of part a, title 2 of the c.a.a. ensuring all claims are filed in writing and are made under oath. requiring members who have engaged in intentional discrimination to reimburse the department of the treasury. requiring the office of compliance, the o.o.c., to report every six months of a calendar year to congress and to publish on their website the awards and settlements from the previous year. directing the o.o.c. to conduct a climate survey of the legislative branch every two years. directing the o.o.c. to establish a permanent record retention program. expanding the definition of covered employees to include unpaid interns, fellows and
detailees and clarifying certain commissions such as the helsinki commission that they are covered by the congressional accountability act and providing the process for disposing of claims. these are just a few of the reforms that the c.a.a. reform act makes. and i'm proud of the work of this committee and our bipartisan group of members who have worked on this so diligently over the last several months. i would encourage all of my colleagues to support this legislation, and with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. brady: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. brady: mr. speaker, since we began this process several months ago i met with experts, my colleagues and most importantly the survivors of sexual harassment and assault. their insight has formed this legislation today. by passing this proposal, the congress will take the much-needed first step in changing how we do business. we eliminate counseling. we eliminate the cooling off period. we make mediation optional.
we change the system so we protect the victim and not the perpetrate overplet we require more transparency with regular reporting that has meaningful information. we change the confidentiality rules so the victim decides what to talk about and when. and we hold members accountable for their behavior by referring every case to the ethics committee. this is long overdue. there is one person that has been championing her work this entire career. that the gentlelady from california, jackie speier. without her we wouldn't be here. remember persistence is one of the main reasons we are close to getting this done and the entire congress should be grateful for her work. it's because of your leadership, mr. chairman, that we are here on the floor today. as you have your entire tenure on the committee you have focused to working together in a bipartisan way we can agree and because of that commitment he will be remembered as one of the most consequential chairmen of this committee.
i thank you and treasure your friendship. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from mississippi is recognized. mr. harper: mr. speaker, i yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from alabama, mr. byrne. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. mr. byrne: i thank the chairman for yielding. prior to coming to congress i worked for 30 years as a labor and employment attorney in alabama. i advised clients on how to prevent sexual harassment and how to navigate the proif a harassment claim was made. i was shocked to see how complicated the congressional process for handling sexual harassment and other claims was. mr. speaker, this legislation is a shining example of how congress should work. chairman harper and ranking member brady engaged a bipartisan group of members, including representative jackie speier and myself, interested in solving this problem. after months of thoughtful negotiation, we come to the floor today with a product that this house and the american people can be proud of.
under this legislation, we will bring the congressional workplace into the 21st century and ensure congress plays by the same rules as the private sector. there are far too many important reforms to mention all of them, but i want to highlight a few that i think are especially transformative. first, the bill creates a fairer and simpler process for employees to file an employment law claim and for that claim to be resolved. the bill creates an office of employee advocacy to ensure staff has access to legal counsel just as member offices are provided. the process is also simplified to make the claims process smoother, faster, and fairer. second, the bill increases transparency by requiring that basic information about any sexual harassment or other claims be made public so the american people are fully aware of what is happening in congress. third, the bill will ensure that members of congress, not taxpayers, are responsible for
paying out sexual harassment settlements that they're responsible for. fourth, the related resolution paves the way for every congressional office to have a clearly defined anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy. fifth, the resolution prohibits members of congress from engaging in a sexual relationship with any staff member under their supervision and makes clear that sexual harassment is a violation of the code of official conduct and will not be tolerated. in closing, i want to again thank chairman harper and ranking member brady for their leadership on this issue, and i strongly urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan legislation and the related resolution and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from mississippi reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. brady: mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentlelady from california, and, again, the main reason why we are on this floor today, ms. speier. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for three minutes. ms. speier: thank you, mr. speaker.
i thank my ranking member for his generosity and for his great leadership. members, we are truly here on a historic occasion. it is a rare and crucial moment of bipartisanship. this is the way you can do it. men and women, republicans and democrats, conservatives and liberals coming together to make this place better. you know, i first started this work back in 2014, i dreamed but i did not dare to dream more than to hope that we would end up here today. today, this bipartisan group of legislators is taking a historic step that has plagued this institution for generations. for years members of congress have gotten away with truly egregious behavior by mistreating their staff. a story that will be etched in
my memory forever is a young woman who sat in my office earlier this year and told me her story and who said, as she cried, the process was almost worse than the harassment. no more, ladies and gentlemen. no more will that be the case. thanks to the me too movement, the american public has made it clear that they have had enough. they expect congress to lead, and for once we are. today i'm proud to support the c.a.a. reform act based on the me too congress act which i introduced last fall. this bill empowers survivors. they will no longer be subject to mandatory mediation. they will be represented by counsel. they will no longer have cooling off periods and periods where they have to be counseled legally. and they have the right to sue. most importantly, it creates
the kind of transparency that we talk about but rarely ever provide and, members, yes, members are going to be held responsible for their bad behavior. and we will require them to pay the settlement in full in 90 days. if they can't do that, we will garnish their wages, we will garnish their thrift savings plan and we will garnish their social security. we would not be here today were it not for the unwavering commitment of chairman harper, ranking member brady, speaker ryan, leader pelosi, congressman byrne, who i have delighted to work with on this issue, congresswoman brooks, congressman deutch, and the entire committee of house administration. but this would not be here today but for the majority and minority committee staff, especially jamie who has shown extraordinary leadership as has kim betts. for all the late nights and lost weekends to get this bill over the finish line.
and to my staff who worked just hard, to molly fishman, and to maryam goldstein, i have un-- forever be grateful for hat you do for my -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. ms. speier: can i have 30 seconds? mr. brady: additional 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for an additional 30 seconds. ms. speier: i thank you. but our work is not done. the me too movement is driving change from the board rooms to the break rooms, across our great country. i am committed to ensuring that congress looks beyond itself to improve the lives of all workers in america. today we take a great step forward for the congressional workplace. we show that we can come together across party and geography. tomorrow, let's continue to work to make sexual harassment and violence in all workplace settings a thing of the past. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from mississippi is recognized. mr. harper: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from indiana, the chairman of our ethics committee, mrs. brooks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from indiana is recognized for two minutes. mrs. brooks: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of the bipartisan congressional accountability act of 1995, introduced by house administration chairman mr. harper and the ranking member mr. brady. i also want to thank the colleagues who have helped lead the effort -- representative byrne and representative speier, along with my colleague, the ranking member of the house ethics committee, representative deutch. current law, the c.a.a., as we call it, was enacted over 20 years ago and it has become so outdated. the proposed reforms in this reform act work to improve our response to harassment and discrimination so that allegations of wrongdoings can be investigated swifter, fairer, and in a more efficient manner. this legislation prioritizes protecting the victims while ensuring due process for the
accused. congress must be a force for justice in order to ensure all employees have a safe workplace environment free of sexual harassment or discrimination of any kind because it is completely unacceptable to be subjected to harassment or discrimination of any kind at any workplace in our country. the element of the c.a.a. that allowed for silencing of victims and spending taxpayer dollars to settle claims for members of congress must be changed. the c.a.a. reform act will increase the transparency and accountability in congress and create a more victim-friendly process. it ensures sexual harassment and discrimination settlements made moving forward will no longer be secret. this bill will protect taxpayer dollars by requiring members of congress who have an award or judgment against them for harassment to personally pay for any settlement. as chairwoman of the how the ethics committee, i'm proud to work alongside my -- our ranking member, representative
deutch, on this important bipartisan legislation. i want to thank our colleagues who worked to ensure that in order for the ethics committee to fulfill its obligation of the house to investigate and potentially discipline members and staff, now the committee must be given information on potential bad actors. c.a.a. reform act ensures the ethics committee is given that information. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. mr. harper: i'll yield 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. brooks: it provides an automatic referral to the ethics committee before the office of workplace rights, currently known as office of compliance. so now the ethics committee can quickly investigate allegations of wrongdoing while protecting the identity of the accuser and ensuring due process of the accused. by supporting this reform act, we're showing the nation that congress is taking strong bipartisan action to improve the workplace called the people's house and the conduct of those who work in it.
thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from mississippi reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. . >> i yield one minute to the gentlelady from california,
our democratic leader, ms. pelosi. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. ms. pelosi: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i thank him and mr. harper for their leadership in bringing this legislation to the floor. congratulations to the house administration committee. i commend congresswoman brooks and congressman deutsch, their works on the ethics committee in this regard. mr. raskin, thank you as well. i want to thank congresswoman jackie speier of california who has made this part of her life's work in her public service in the california legislature and here. today this -- the fruit of your labor, madam congresswoman, comes to fruition.
your strong leadership will ensure no survivor of discrimination or harassment will face the injustice of having his or her voice silenced. the me, too congress act is our promise in a bipartisan way to hold every person accountable to the rule of absolutely zero tolerance. no matter squn's contribution aa -- country, a harassment. we're shining a light on workplace abuse which has been allowed to fefter in the shadows for too long. we're securing protection force all employees by stream lining and strengthening the resolution and reporting process. members ding personally responsible for settlements and are guaranteeing taxpayer money will never again be used to create culture of complicity d silence around workplace harassment. this bill is bipartisan because
it transcends party or members personally responsible politics. this legislation is about protecting the personal safety of every person who comes to o congress to serve. either as a member or in the work force. this is about upholding human dignity and unalienable right to live free from abuse. our nation is at a watershed moment in the fight against sexual harassment and discrimination. brave men and women from hollywood to washington, from sacramento, i might add, where my daughter's been involved in this campaign, from the boardroom, to the newsroom, hotels, restaurants, workplaces, every place in the country people are standing up to say time's up. but the me, too, movement they really have made quite a difference. their voices are correcting the culture around harassment and abuse. more needs to be done. the congress must continue to work with the equal employment opportunity commission and others to forge a path forward to improve protections for all american workplaces.
that's why i'm so pleased to bring this bill to the floor over recent time members of congress listened to survivors and advocates, learned from public and private sector experts, and received constructive recommendations from many members. we will not rest until every person in every workplace has full safeguards against harassment and abuse and discrimination. this is a time for shaking off the status quo not for bowing to inaction and incrementalism. members of congress are trustees of the people. we have a solemn responsibility to do well by the people. both the people who sent us to washington and those who serve by our sides here. our values and our humanity compel us to take action and to finish this fight so that every woman, man, and child can live free from the fear of abuse. again i thank you, mr. brady, for your leadership on this
harassment in the congressional workplace and the effectiveness of the congressional accountability act, which demonstrated the need for reform. i'm pleased to report this bill continues the house administration's -- administration's commitment to increasing transparency in the federal government. last congress we worked hard to pass reforms that made house office spending more transparent and accountable than any other area of the federal government. and today we're voting on a bill that will increase transparency of member conduct by requiring the office of compliance to report on awards and settlements every six months and holding members personally responsible. this strengthens the dispute resolution process, enables employees to speak without fear of retribution, and ensures every house office has an anti-discriminatory and anti-harassment policy. for that, mr. chairman, i urge my colleagues to vote yes and support this bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized.
mr. brady: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from maryland, a valued member of our committee, mr. raskin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for two minutes. mr. raskin: mr. speaker, thank you very much. i want to thank our chairman, mr. harper, and the ranking member, mr. brady, for their excellent leadership on this legislation. i rise as a proud co-sponsor and strong supporter of h.r. 4924, the congressional accountability act of 1995, reform act. and h.res. 724, the companion resolution which strengthens anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies and procedures in this institution. these two bills show how congress can make dramatic progress on a bipartisan basis when we listen to the people. specifically the me, too, movement against workplace discrimination and harassment that has swept america into the 21st century by demanding equality and dignity in the workplace for all women as well as all men. this continuing women's march across america for workplace fairness has forced the members
of this body to acknowledge that here in congress sexual harassment has been a serious occupational hazard for thousands of women who only want to come to work to support their families and to contribute to the common good of the country. we have heard about shameful cases of quid pro quo harassment, hostile workplace environment, groping, forcible kissing, sexual coercion, and reprisal and retaliation for saying no or complaining. as the representatives of the american people, we have a compelling obligation to lead america to a culture of zero tolerance for sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. we in congress must lead not only by strong legislation but by strong example. our current dispute resolution process is stacked against victims requiring people to go through a protracted and duplicative process. members are provided legal counsel while victims are left to navigate this convoluted process on their own. settlements it provided are
paid for with taxpayer money instead of the money of the perpetrator's offense. this legislation eliminates protracted mandatory waiting periods t. empowers victims to move directly to a court proceeding if they desire, it creates an office of employee advocacy with lawyers on hand to understand their rights, it contributes sexual relationships. 30 seconds more. it prohibits sexual relationships between members of congress and their staffs. and hold offending members personally responsible for their conduct by requiring that they pay any settlements that are made. i thank chairman harper and ranking member brady for their leadership and especially congresswoman jackie speier for her untiring and exemplary advocacy over the years. i am glad we're being part of this great cultural paradigm shift in america. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland yields back. the gentleman from mississippi is recognized. mr. harper: mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentlewoman from california, mrs. comstock, who continues to
work tirelessly on this issue. the speaker pro tempore: the the gentlewoman from virginia is recognized for three minutes. miss come tock slon thank you, mr. speaker. -- mrs. comstock: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. chairman, for your leadership and my colleagues on the committee and those who participated in this process on this bill and resolution. i rise in support of both the bill and the resolution. we know sexual harassment is about power. misuse of power that impacts careers, lives, and self-esteem. we know most women do not come forward and disclose sexual harassment. we know often they leave their desired careers because of that. we have seen it in all industries, predators such as harvey winestein in hollywood, matt lawyer, roger ailes, charlie rose in the media, john conyers, and trent franks in our own body. it is so important that this legislation, this historic step, is fundamentally changing that a balance of power. by creating an office for the
victims, the oafs of employee add vow can -- office of employee advocacy, this is the single most important thing in this legislation to restore that balance of power that has been misused by those in power. when i spoke to a woman who 30 years ago was sexually harassed in this body by congressman jim baits of california, she didn't have an office to go to. she didn't have one that wasn't very good. so now 30 years later we're writing this. we now have transparency. people can't hide behind the process anymore. the members' names will be known and taxpayers will not be on the hook for any of this. the offender themselves will have to pay and we have all types of methods in here to get that money because we want to make sure the victim is made whole. i appreciate we have also adopted some of the an tiss provisions to get a full accounting of past cases so we know the amounts and what
happened. i'm still concerned about those members who may have used their m.r.a.'s, member allowances, in an inappropriate way that. is corrected in this bill and no longer allowed. we have made it clear there are no relationships with subordinates. i do want to mention that i still do believe, this is a great bill and i hartley support it and so appreciate all the hard work and staff and everyone has done, i still do believe we need to disclose the past names that are still unknown. some of those names have come forward because of the press. because of victims speaking out. we need to let the victims know that they can speak out from the past. if they want to speak out, they can. that this body is not going to be using any of our resources to stop a victim from the past from speaking out. and i also do think we still need to disclose all of those names going forward so that we have full accountability. because part of that misuse of power is that they can continue
to know they won't be held accountable and the victims see that. so we need to have a strong message that there's nobody in this body that would ever be allowed to go forward without being held accountable. i thank you. i encourage all my colleagues to support this resolution and this important legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentlewoman has expired. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. brady: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. deutch. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for two minutes. mr. deutch: thank you, mr. speaker. last year american culture experienced a moment of reckoning. doesn't matter what political party. it doesn't matter what industry. it doesn't matter when or where sexual a -- harassment and sexual violence are unacceptable. america has been willfully blind to political party. it doesn't abuses of power for far too long. the bravery of survivors of
sexual assaults and harassment has changed that. changed our country. it's time for congress to follow their lead. i'm grateful to introduce this bill with my colleagues, house administration chairman harper and ranking member chadebradey, my counter party on the house ethics committee, chairwoman susan brooks, all worked so hard to develop these forms. i thank representative byrne for his effort and sharing his experience. my colleague and friend, congresswoman jackie speier, deserves particular appreciation and acknowledgement for her strong leadership not just in crafting this bill but throughout her career in standing up for the rights of women. but in this case for crafting a bill that will produce lasting change for the united states congress. this bill will allow survivors to speak out, ensure that legal resources are available to them, and offer justice without fear of retribution. this bill will not only strengthen our out-of-date workplace protections but send
an important message to the entire country that members of congress will be held accountable w this legislation, also the office of compliance must provide the house ethics committee with all of the information required for the transparent pursuit of full accountability. it is time to end protections for powerful abusers and to empower survivors. each survivor must be heard, allegations must be taken seriously, and abusers and harassers must be held accountable. every congressional employee and every american deserves the equal chance at success in their careers, free from sexual harassment, and free from retaliation for defending themselves and asserting their rights. it's time to do the work necessary to change culture. i encourage my colleagues to support this bill. i ensure that congress does its part. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. the gentleman from mississippi is recognized. mr. harper: may i inquire of the time remaining for debate.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi has six minutes remain, the gentleman from pennsylvania has 9 1/2 minutes remaining. mr.harper: i yield one minute to the gentleman from florida, mr. santies. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. desantis: when news broke that there had been a series of sexual harassment settlements paid for by tax dollars, i think a lot of american, even by the low standards they have for this body, were shocked to hear that and it's almost as if the rules to set up to allow members get away with this i'm happy that the provisions of my bill have been adopted in this. i think it's important.
taxpayers should not bail members of congress out for misconduct. and this bill fixes that and makes them personally liable. we also need a full accounting of any payments being made with tax dollars. this bill does that. and we have to protect identities of victims. i think we're making a step in the right direction. thing start tots foster a culture of respect on capitol hill. i urge my colleagues to support the bill and i thank chairman harper for his efforts. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is ecognized. >> i yield two minutes to the gentlelady from the district of columbia, ms. norton. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. norton: mr. speaker, i want to thank both sides for the bipartisan way in which this true to what it
is in this country, bipartisan. today the house is doing no more than bringing itself in line with what we have long required of private employers and other federal agencies. when i started working, we -- sexual harassment wasn't recognized as employee harassment in drawing the sexual harassment guidelines it never occurred to us that congress ould set different standards for themselves, preference rble to members and prejudicial to employees. the current process creates multiple steps and time frames that exhaust complainants and deter resolution. it takes courage to file a sexual harassment complaint
because most are unwitnessed and they're difficult to corroborate. the most important provisions of this bill, i believe are the provisions from assistants to complainants which members have long had and personal liability for harassment liing with the member, not the taxpayers. this bill marks the congress holding itself accountable to the public. it is another -- however, it is another in line of the -- of public focus on high profile workplaces. i ask the house to move next to the workplaces of america where the average woman and man work. hospitality, factories, offices and retail. increasingly, we find sexual harassment widespread. i hope the house will pass my bill to create a national commission to hear from ordinary workers so that the average worker gets our equal attention and equal time.
again, thank the sponsor os of this bill for this bipartisan effort. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentlewoman has expired. the gentleman from mississippi is recognized. mr.harper: i yield one minute to the gentlewoman from utah, ms. love. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. mr. love: thank you, mr. speaker, i'd like to thank chairman harper and ranking member brady for including the stop act in the house administration legislation. shockingly, the office of compliance confirms that hundreds and thousands of dollars have been paid with taxpayer money to settle sexual harassment cases against members of congress. i am pleased to say that the bill that is before us today incorporates a bill i introduced last december to stop this practice. will require members of congress to pay back any taxpayer money used to settle sexual harassment cases. victims will be compensated, the
taxpayers won't be footing the bill this bill promotes and supports due process. it sends a message that there isn't a set fund out there paid for by the taxpayer, ready for someone to access, but it also doesn't encourage a member who feels they have done nothing wrong to settle so an issue can just go away. if a member of congress behaves badly, the consequences of those actions are that person's responsibility, not the taxpayer's. i believe that members should live by the laws this they create and the taxpayers should not be responsible for inproacht behavor. i'd like to thank you and i encourage my colleagues to vote for this bill. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentlelady has expired. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. brady: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi is recognized. mr.harper: i yield two and a half minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman select niced for two and a half minutes. mr. smith: let me begin, mr. speaker, by thanking chairman
harper for this outstanding, bipartisan legislation, and mr. brady as well. this is what this place can produce when we do come together. obviously it provides congressional employees with comprehensive protection from abuse, including zero tolerance for sexual harassment. the bill significantly increases transparency on member conduct by publishing reports on rewards and settlements and holds members personally responsible, ending the charade of having taxpayers foot the bill for abuses. significantly, the new office of employee advocacy which the legislation creates, will provide free legal services to congressional employees. , mr.is absolutely critical speaker that house employees have a dedicated vadvo cat to consult, assist, and to represent them. mr. speaker, i want to thank chairman harper for including my
bill, h.r. 4393, as section 303 of this bill. this section makes clear that employees of the helsinki commission and the china commission, both of which i co-chair are covered by the c.a.a. in 2011, mr. speaker, an employee, a woman, employeed by the commission on security and cooperation in europe, filed suit making sex harassment and workplace retaliation allegations directed to a former chairman of the commission. when i learned that the woman was being told, the woman who lodged the complaint, that the c.a.a. did not apply to her, i immediately as chairman changed that policy. i deemed it, thankfully i checked with the house counsel, had the full backing of the house counsel, i thought it was unconscionable, that the woman did not have representation but that the c.a.a. itself did not
cover her. that was a terrible, terrible wrong that will be rectified forever by this legislation. again, i want to thank chairman harper for his leadership. this is a remarkable bill, an important bill, and will protoket -- protect employees from abuse. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. brady: i yield two minutes to the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for two minutes. ms. jackson lee: let me thank the ranking member, mr. brady, and acknowledge his long-standing leadership and friendship and as well the work he does with the chairman and for his leadership as well this is a highlight on the floor of the house for the bipartisanship that it represents. the tone of which we are speaking, even though we know that this is a matter of urgency nd we have seen the telling of situations that none of us would want to see repeated. and i -- forgive me for using
more of a most recent set of circumstances just to capture the intensity of the moment and that is of course the recent conspicuous and le sex offender to the 200-plus young women athletes. this is not the circumstances here in the house of representatives, but i think it captures the intensity of silence. because those young women had to live or thought that that was what they were only gated to do because they wanted to achieve greatness in their field. and they were stopped by the wall of silence. and therefore could not find relief. the courts have finally given them relief but through an enormity of pain.
i think it is important for the congressional standards to be such that it sets a wide net across the nation to be able to ensure that the wall of silence is broken. so i support h.r. 4924 to amend the congressional accountability act of 1995 to reform the procedures provided under such act for the initiation, investigation and resolution of claims alleging that employeing officers of the legislative branch violated the right and protections provided to employees under such act include position tech against sexual harassment and other purposes. so this bill will provide a broader subpoena authority to the office of compliance which adjudicated workplace disputes and as well it will provide, mr. speaker, in other areas of anti-discrimination. let me say that this is a positive statement made by all of us and i ask my colleagues to support h.r. 4924.
i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentlewoman has expire. the gentleman from mississippi is recognized. mr.harper: i yield one minute to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. lance. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. lance: thank you, mr. speaker. as a member of the house ethics committee, i rise in strong support of this legislation and resolution combating the scourge of sexual harassment. i commend the leadership of chairman harper and representative jackie speier a national leader on this issue for many years. from this day forward, as a lawmaker -- if a lawmaker commits an act of sexual harassment and breaks the trust of the people that information will be made public and taxpayers will not foot the bill. i'm pleased that this legislation mirrors my bill that would increase governmental transparency and accountability concerning taxpayer financed harassment settlements in congress. the people who come forward to serb this country, particularly young people, need to know that protections are in place than
offenders, no matter how powerful, will face accountability. congress must be an emparticular for the nation on this important issue. i encourage other institutions in this country, business, labor, hollywood and the press to examine their own practices to ensure a safe workplace. now is the time for action and results, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman from new jersey has expired. the gentleman from mississippi has 30 seconds remaining and has the right to close. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr.berry di: i'm prepared to close if the gentleman is prepared to close? i yield myself such time as i my consume. mr. speaker this is an important day for the house of representatives. republicans and democrats from all different parts of the country have come together to make meaningful change in how congress operates. as i conclude i'd like to thank the staff that work sod hard on this, especially kim, molly,
mare yam, members of my staff, terry morgan and my staff director, jamie fleet. thank you again for your leadership and i urge my colleagues to support this legislation before us now and mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania has yielded back. the gentleman from mississippi, the chairman of the committee is recognized. mr.harper: mr. speaker this is a historic moment for the house of representatives. nd i too want to thank kim betts for her hard work on her staff as well as jamie fleet, the staff director and i want to give a special thanks to jackie speier and bradley byrne for the many hours they have spent working on this process. this makes historic and important steps in the house of representatives. it brings us that step closer to achieving our goal of creating effective, safe working environments, environments that are safe, product i, collegial and most importantly responsive to the needs of our constituents and the public. there's no place like the house
of representatives. this should be for every employee the most special place that they will ever work. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 4924 and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman from mississippi has expired. ll time has now expired. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 4934, as -- 4924. those in favor will say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from mississippi seek
recognition? mr. harper: mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 724, requiring each employing office of the house of representatives to adopt an anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy for the offices workplace. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 724, resolution requiring each employing office of the house of representatives to adopt an anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy for he office's workplace, establishing the office of employee advocacy to provide legal assistance and consultation to employees of the house regarding procedures and proceedings under the congressional accountability act of 1995, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from mississippi, mr. harper, and the gentleman from brady, each mr.
will control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from mississippi. mr. harper: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. harper: this is the second measure before us today. the house resolution makes a number of administrative reforms to the house, including requiring each employing office of the house to adopt anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies for the office's workplace. establishing within the chief administrative officer an office of employee advocate who will provide legal consultation, representation, and assistance to house employees. directing members to certify that the members' representational allowance is not being used to settle or pay an award under the congressional accountability act. in addition, the resolution makes a number of changes to the code of official conduct that together will strengthen the houses' policies on sexual harassment. it's a critical piece to the comprehensive reform package needed to strengthen the policies, procedures, and mechanisms to guard against and respond to sexual harassment claims in the congressional workplace. i encourage my colleagues to
support this important resolution and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. brady: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. brady: this resolution continues to work -- the work we started in the legislation we just considered. it makes much needed improvements to how the house operates t requires every office to have an anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy. it provides legal counsel for house employees who need assistance in fighting harassment in their offices. it strengthens our code of conduct, the ethics we live by to make clear this behavior will not be ol traited. and bans use of the m.r.a. for paying settlements. i encourage my colleagues to support this legislation and again i'd like to thank my chairman for his cooperation as always we work together and as you can see when we work together things get done. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania
yields back. the gentleman from mississippi is recognized. mr. harper: mr. speaker, i want to certainly thank the ranking member, mr. brady, for the great bipartisan work and his friendship in making this possible to get these important >> on little little the house in recess. members were expected back about abhour ago for vote series. but off the floor work negotiations continue. waiting for the rule committee to finish its work in order to teak up a temporary funding measure. expecting to see that on the floor later today. current funding running out thursday at midnight. we heard a short time ago from senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. he was asked about government funding. ere are his remarks. >> i said
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