Rep. Speier: Hill staffers & victims of sexual harassment have had their ‘private parts grabbed on the House floor.’ https://t.co/vMRrNKSIpp
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) November 14, 2017
Like Hollywood, Washington, D.C. has its own sexual harassment problem that’s beginning to bubble over into a boil. Though Congress has insulated itself against harassment allegations to a degree, harassment still exists, and one Congresswoman is speaking out.
According to Rep. Jackie Speier (D-California), at least two sitting members of Congress — one Democrat and one Republican — have sexually harassed staffers on Capitol Hill. Last month, Rep. Speier publicly shared her story of being sexually harassed by the chief of staff in her office when she was a staffer. In response, current and former staffers from both parties have told her that they also were victims of such abuse.
Rep. Speier said as much during her Tuesday congressional testimony:
“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,” Speier said in her testimony before the House Administration Committee, which held a hearing on sexual harassment in Congress Tuesday morning.
Speier did not name the members.
The congresswoman also said she had heard of victims “having their private parts grabbed on the House floor.”
Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Virginia), a member of the committee that Speier was speaking to, shared a story she had heard of a congressman exposing himself to a female staffer after the staffer dropped materials off at his residence. That staffer quit her job, Comstock said.
One possible solution to the issue has already been suggested — mandatory sexual harassment training for all lawmakers and their staff.