Bipartisan Bill Seeks to Name Lawmakers Who Paid Harassment Settlements With Taxpayer Money

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Posted: Nov 29, 2017 2:35 PM
Bipartisan Bill Seeks to Name Lawmakers Who Paid Harassment Settlements With Taxpayer Money

A new bill co-sponsored by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), and Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) aims to out lawmakers who have settled harassment claims with taxpayer dollars. The bill will be unveiled at a press conference at 3 p.m. EST.

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) is alleged to have settled a harassment complaint with taxpayer funds. He has been accused of sexual harassment by several women, and Cokie Roberts stated that it was common knowledge among the press corps to avoid being in an elevator with Conyers. 

Earlier on Wednesday, Rep. Rice left the Democratic Conference meeting, saying that she did not think the allegations of harassment against Conyers and Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) were being taken seriously. Rice has called for both Conyers and Franken to resign from their positions. 

Americans have a right to know if the people they voted to represent their interests in Congress are paying sexual harassment settlements with their own taxpayer dollars. It's sad and disturbing that we've reached the point where legislation has to be passed for this very basic government transparency to happen. This bill should be a no-brainer--but it also begs the question as to why taxpayer funds are even allowed to be used for this purpose in the first place.