Congress – Where’s That Sexual Misconduct Bill You Promised?

Part of the reason the #MeToo movement has been so powerful is the realization that no part of society is immune to sexual abuse and harassment. Women came forward to share their stories from all corners of the world like Hollywood, colleges, offices, public transportation and even the halls of Congress.

It should have been a wake-up call for Congress to address some of the problems we know are ongoing, yet legislators have stalled on passing any meaningful reform to better regulate the lewd behavior we know has not been eradicated.

Sign the petition: Tell Republican leadership in both houses to pass a sexual misconduct bill before the end of the year.

Twelve months ago, under the moniker “Congress Too,” 1,500 people who formerly worked on Capitol Hill joined forces to demand that Congress pass a bill that would give their own sexual misconduct procedures a much-needed update. Their efforts seemed promising initially, yet a year later and the legislation is still lingering.

To be fair, both the House and the Senate passed their own versions of sexual misconduct bills, but they never got on the same page to pass one unified bill that could actually go into law. It makes you wonder if the ongoing inability to sync up the bills is an intentional attempt to make no progress at all.

Congress Too wrote an open letter to Congress asking for lawmakers to make this a priority. “Unfortunately, time is running out to make these improvements a reality, as the lame duck sessions beings, many critical and time-sensitive issues will be competing for Congress’s attention,” reads the letter. It is our fervent hope that the 116th Congress will begin with a fairer, safer, more supportive system in place for all those who serve them.”

The group would like to see legislation include a few important things:

  • Independent and in depth investigations into accusations against Capitol Hill leaders.
  • Public transparency when taxpayer money is spent to settle cases of sexual misconduct. Furthermore, legislators should have to reimburse the government for settlements.
  • Giving victims the choice of participating in formal counseling and mediation. The current system requires it, and victims have found that these steps are often used to pressure them into dropping the issue.

Frankly, all of these suggestions make sense given the number of federal legislators on both sides of the aisles who have faced serious allegations of misconduct in the past year alone. Democratic Senator Al Franken and Rep. John Conyers resigned in December amongst accusations from multiple women. Republican Rep. Trent Franks exited the same month after bizarre revelations about pressuring female staffers to be a surrogate for his wife. Other Republican Reps. Patrick Meehan and Blake Farenthold departed in 2018 after America discovered taxpayers were covering their settlements for inappropriate behavior. Farenthold pledged to pay back that money, then broke that promise.

Apparently, one of the biggest sticking points for the House and Senate compromising revolves around whether taxpayer money should continue to be used to settle misconduct claims on behalf of legislators. Another is whether the government should offer to provide lawyers to the accusers of members of Congress.

Take Action

Compromising shouldn’t be too difficult on this important legislation. After that whole Brett Kavanaugh confirmation debacle, Republican leadership should be falling over itself to prove that it (sometimes, anyway) takes sexual misconduct seriously. That’s why we’re signing this new Care2 petition to encourage Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan to use their closing weeks in this term to pass an appropriate bill.

30 comments

Anna R
Anna R14 days ago

signed

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pam w
pam w15 days ago

Already signed but....I agree it's a good idea to keep it alive until January.

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Dave fleming
Past Member 18 days ago

Signed.

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Gino C
Gino C20 days ago

signed

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heather g
heather g20 days ago

Keep pushing for the right laws,,,,

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Janis K
Janis K21 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Sabrina Degasperi

I signed the petition on the 15th.

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Frances G
Frances G23 days ago

Signed

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Ciaron Drain
Ciaron Drain25 days ago

As the poet Juvenal wrote "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" and it is as true today as it was in the 2nd Century. His 15th Satire sums up the real reason for the indifference to the sexual misconduct bill is that with Donald Trump being in the Whitehouse that people without Compassion are Worse than Animals and that so many of them would be bouncing out the door themselves.

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Jetana A
Jetana A25 days ago

Just checked, did sign petition on the 17th. Probably best to keep collecting signatures until the new congresspeople are sworn in, then deliver it and pray.

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