December 22, 2017

Gillibrand Statement On Senate Data Disclosing At Least $600,000 Of Taxpayer Money Secretly Spent To Settle Workplace Misconduct In The Senate

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today released the following statement in response to the report that at least $600,000 in taxpayer money has been spent settling Senate workplace misconduct claims over the past 20 years. Gillibrand recently introduced bipartisan legislation, the Congressional Harassment Reform Act, with strong bipartisan support from over 20 Senators. This legislation is cosponsored by Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Kamala Harris (D-CA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Rob Portman (R-OH), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Michael Enzi (R-WY).

“Congress should never be above the law or play by its own set of rules, but that’s exactly what we are seeing with the report disclosing that at least $600,000 in taxpayer money has been spent secretly settling workplace misconduct claims in the Senate. This lack of transparency and accountability is unacceptable. The system in Congress is broken and desperately needs reform, and that’s why we must pass the Congressional Harassment Reform Act, my bipartisan legislation to create more accountability and transparency in Congress, overhaul the reporting process for victims of harassment and discrimination, eliminate required secrecy, and require Members of Congress who are found personally responsible for harassment to pay settlements out of their own pocket. Elected officials should be held to the highest standards, not the lowest. We must change the status quo.”