The Latest: House OKs anti-harassment training bill
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Congress and allegations of sexual misconduct against lawmakers. (all times local):
The House has easily approved a bipartisan measure requiring lawmakers and staff to take annual anti-harassment training.
The plan was approved on a voice vote which came as Congress continues to react to an outbreak of sexual harassment allegations against lawmakers.
Debate included several accounts of misconduct that lawmakers said have occurred in Congress. That included Pennsylvania Democrat Robert Brady saying he was once talking to a female colleague when a male lawmaker groped her from behind. He mentioned no names.
The measure was approved as lawmakers wait to see how Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers will respond to allegations by former workers that he’s sexually harassed them. He’s returned to Detroit.
The Senate has already approved a similar measure applying to its members and aides.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says “no matter how great the legacy, it is not a license to harass and abuse.”
The California Democrat spoke as lawmakers wonder what Rep. John Conyers will do about allegations he’s harassed female employees, which he’s denied.
The 88-year-old Michigan lawmaker quit his post as top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee and returned to Detroit. He’s been pressured by Pelosi and other lawmakers to resign from the chamber.
Pelosi did not mention Conyers’ name. But she said it can be hard to accept that “people we admire” have “crossed the line.”
Conyers is the House’s longest-serving lawmaker and has long been a leader on civil rights and other issues.
The House is debating a measure requiring lawmaker to take anti-harassment training.
House Speaker Paul Ryan says sexual harassment shouldn’t exist anywhere, “let alone in the United States Congress” — and he says it won’t be tolerated.
The Wisconsin Republican spoke before the House planned to approve a measure requiring that lawmakers and staff take mandatory, annual anti-harassment training.
Asked if lawmakers should speak out more about some women’s past allegations that they were harassed by President Donald Trump, Ryan said leaders are focused “on making sure this place works the right way.”
He said Rep. John Conyers “made the right decision” by abandoning his post as top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. Conyers has been accused of sexual harassment by former aides.
Trump and Conyers have denied the accusations.
Lawmakers are expected to produce additional legislation strengthening the House’s lax anti-harassment procedures.
The House is scheduled to vote on adopting mandatory anti-sexual harassment training for all members and their staffs.
The vote comes amid a wave of allegations of sexual misconduct against lawmakers that has thrust the issue of gender hostility and discrimination on Capitol Hill squarely into the spotlight.
Democratic Rep. John Conyers, the longest serving member of the House, faces an ethics investigation over a settlement with a staffer who said she was sexually harassed, then fired in retaliation for rejecting advances.
Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota has been accused of harassment, and apologized.
Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas apologized after a nude photo of him surfaced on social media
A similar resolution for mandatory training unanimously passed in the Senate earlier this month.