House Passes Sexual Harassment Legislation that Includes Stefanik Provision to Protect Victims and Taxpayers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) helped the House pass H.R. 4924 – legislation to amend the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 to reform procedures related to the initiation, investigation, and resolution of legislative branch claims alleging that employing offices have violated the rights and protections provided to their employees, including protections against sexual harassment.
This legislation includes a provision authored by Reps. Pete Olson (R-TX-22) and Elise Stefanik to ensure victims of harassment on Capitol Hill continue to receive just compensation for their suffering, but at the hands of their accusers, not at taxpayer expense. Specifically, this provision will require Members found guilty of harassment to reimbursement the Treasury for settlements paid out to victims. Furthermore, if a Member leaves office and fails to reimburse the Treasury, their federal retirement account, also known as a Thrift Savings Account, can be taken to pay back the American people.
"Taxpayers should not be forced to foot the bill for lawmakers' inappropriate behavior," said Congresswoman Stefanik. "Our provision in this bill addresses the recent and shocking reports of abuse by some on Capitol Hill, and it protects hard earned taxpayer dollars. I was pleased to join my colleagues to pass mandatory sexual harassment training for the House of Representatives, and this legislation is one more important step to protecting our workspaces from abuse. I thank Congressman Olson for his leadership on this effort and thank my colleagues for passing this bill today.”