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House discloses three more sexual harassment settlements totaling $115000

House discloses three more sexual harassment settlements totaling $115000

Harper said on Tuesday he hopes to file a bipartisan bill by Wednesday evening overhauling how Congress handles sexual harassment that would include making lawmakers personally liable for settlements. "We must create a culture within our Capitol Hill community that instills in every employee and employer, new and old, that there is no place for sexual harassment in the halls of Congress", Harper said in a statement.

This was part of his request from OOC for a breakdown of the $17 million total that has been paid by the congressional Office of Compliance account to settle the claims.

"The [Office of Compliance] does not possess reliable information regarding the number of sexual harassment claims that have been filed or settled, the identities or positions of the individuals alleged to have committed sexual harassment, or why the parties reached settlements."

Congressional leaders had pushed for a public accounting of the money.

In addition, some lawmakers have secretly paid settlements from their office budgets. An additional $10,000 was paid in a settlement for a "sex discrimination (including sexual harassment) [and] retaliation" claim and another $20,000 settlement was made for a "sexual harassment because of retaliation [and] sex discrimination" claim. Tim Kaine promised data related to sexual harassment claims against USA senators would be released to the public, a congressional watchdog said it does not have reliable data and could not release the information. Two claims were simply categorized as "retaliation" while the rest were focused on racial, age or disability discrimination.

Harper said the committee's investigations into logging settlements would continue, as it has yet to obtain all of the requested information.

It brings the total amount of sexual harassment settlements so far disclosed to $199,000, following an $84,000 settlement for a complaint against Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas.

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