Female Lawmakers Say At Least Two In Congress Have Committed Sexual Harassment

Lawmakers Hold Hearing on Sexual Harassment in Congress

Brendan Hoffman Getty Images The Speaker's rostrum in the U.S. House of Representatives

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.

"What are we doing here for women right now", she added, "who are dealing with someone like that?"

"Going forward, the House will adopt a policy of mandatory anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training for all members and staff", the Wisconsin Republican said in a statement.

During the hearing, Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), a member of the House Administration Committee, retold an unconfirmed story she heard about a lawmaker exposing himself to a female aide who was asked to deliver materials to a male member of Congress.

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.

House lawmakers on Tuesday will review the chamber's sexual harassment policies in the wake of sweeping allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment that have rocked powerful institutions and industries across the country. A number of lawmakers have also come forward and shared stories of harassment they faced - either during their time as lawmakers or when they previously worked on Capitol Hill as aides. One Republican has suggested that if elected, Moore should be expelled from the Senate. Shortly afterward House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., sent a memo to fellow lawmakers encouraging them to complete sexual harassment training and make it mandatory for their staffs.

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"Obviously, that's not the right approach", he said.

Between 1997 and 2014, a little known Congressional fund paid out $15.2 million to 235 people who made sexual harassment claims in Congress. Tuesday's hearing was stark and sometimes graphic. "All they ask for in return as staff members is to be able to work in a hostile-free work environment", Speier testified.

Comstock did not name the member of Congress, whose name wasn't disclosed to her.

Watch Speier's comments below, via ABC News.

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

"Leadership within each office is also important, and letting the employees know where they can go to complain is vitally important", Childs Wallace told lawmakers.

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