Staffers: Sexual Harassment Rampant In Congress

Staffers: Sexual Harassment Rampant In Congress

Comstock - who worked on Capitol Hill as a staffer early in her career and served in the Virginia House of Delegates before being elected to represent Northern Virginia's 10th District a year ago - said Congress needs more training and stronger safeguards in place to ensure women don't have to give up their careers to escape sexually aggressive behavior.

On Monday, 1,500 former congressional aides signed an open letter calling for mandatory sexual harassment training for all lawmakers and staff and for a stronger system to handle allegations of abuse. It's unclear whether either of the members is the same person mentioned by Comstock; neither Speier nor Comstock named them.

Noting the Weinstein scandal and how it started the #MeToo movement, Comstock said that in Congress, "We need to make it easier for the victims to come forward".

"From comments like 'Are you going to be a good girl?,' to harassers exposing their genitals, to victims having their private parts grabbed on the House floor, women and men have trusted me with their stories", Speier said in her testimony.

Speier said, "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". "All they ask in return is that we fix our abusive system and hold perpetrators accountable".

Speier last month shared her own story of harassment when she was working as a congressional staffer when a chief of staff made unwanted physical contact with her.

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Earlier in the hearing, Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia said a former staffer told her that a Congressman asked a staffer to bring some materials to his residence, greeted her at the door wearing a towel and exposed himself after he invited her inside. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) recounted a member who exposed himself to a female staffer.

Two female lawmakers accused three sitting male members of Congress of sexual misconduct during a hearing on Tuesday in which they criticized the House's sexual harassment policies and called for reform.

"She left, and then she quit her job", Comstock added. "There is zero accountability and transparency", she said.

"I don't want to say I'm excited about it because it's all very, very sad, but it's hopeful that we can do something very, very strong right now", Pelosi told CNN last week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan have now called on him to drop out of the race, while the editorial board of the Alabama Media Group branded him "grossly unfit for office".

The lawmakers spoke at a House Administration Committee hearing on sexual harassment on Capitol Hill, and about pending legislation to require training for all members and their staffs, and whether further actions are necessary to establish uniform policies.

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