Pelosi on Sexual Harassment: ‘As Members of Congress, We Have a Real Moral Duty to Show Real Effective Leadership’

‘It is very hard to accept that people we admire in public life and here in Congress have crossed the line and broken the public trust’

EXCERPT:

PELOSI: "So here we’re at this watershed moment in the nationwide fight against sexual harassment and discrimination. Brave women in every corner of the country and every industry are making their voices heard. As members of Congress, we have a moral duty to show real effective leadership to foster a climate of respect and dignity in the workplace with absolutely zero tolerance for harassment, discrimination, or abuse. Anything less is unacceptable, my colleagues. Requiring the members and the staff to take training, while valuable and we must have it, must be only a first step. And we must make sure that that training is very effective as well. But the next step for Congress to take is to pass the #MeToo Congress Act, introduced by Congresswoman Speier to create greater transparency and accountability in the broken reporting and settlement system. Taxpayer money should not have been spent to build a culture of silence and complicity around workplace harassment. We must make a judgment about how that was used. This bill, the #MeToo Congress Act, will reform the shameful secret settlement policy that has persisted. It will ensure that survivors who wish to share their stories publicly can come forward and they can come forward to the Ethics Committee. We want to create a culture that says to everyone who comes to work here, this will be hospitable for you." 

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