Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) said Thursday evening that she believes Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) should resign in light of the $84,000 settlement for sexual harassment he made with taxpayer funds in 2015. Love told CNN that members of Congress need to hold themselves to a higher standard.
“I think that he should voluntarily resign because we I believe we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard,” Love said, “where he may not feel like his behavior was inappropriate obviously somebody did, obviously somebody felt uncomfortable.”
"I think that he should voluntarily resign" - Rep. Mia Love on Rep. Blake Farenthold, a Texas Republican who reportedly settled a sexual harassment complaint with taxpayer money in 2014 https://t.co/9bWBfq1BrZ pic.twitter.com/wWzh19uZAo— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) December 8, 2017
Love called the recent slew of sexual harassment allegations “a culture of behavior,” saying, “the fact is somebody was paid off and what’s really frustrating to me is that the money was used, it’s taxpayer dollars was used.”
She referenced a bill she introduced in the House last week called the Stop Taxpayer Obligations to Perpetrators of Sexual Harassment (STOP) Act which would prohibit payment within Congress for claims involving sexual harassment by members of Congress.
“I mean again this is something that to me shouldn’t have been in place at all,” Love said. “We’re using taxpayer dollars to settle these cases?”
“I think we need to make sure we evaluate ourselves and again this is about getting people to take responsibility for what they do and changing the culture that’s in Washington,” she emphasized.
Farenthold is the only known sitting member of Congress to take advantage of the little-known congressional account which covers harassment and discrimination lawsuits. He claimed when the case was settled in 2015 that he didn't engage in any wrongdoing. He also said in a recent interview that he is taking a personal loan to repay the taxpayer money used to settle the 2015 lawsuit.
The House Ethics Committee announced Thursday that it will be establishing an investigative subcommittee to look into the allegations against Farenthold.