Tags: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy | sexual harassment

McCarthy: Congress Needs 'Zero Tolerance' for Sexual Harassment

Image: McCarthy: Congress Needs 'Zero Tolerance' for Sexual Harassment
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (AP)

By    |   Saturday, 02 December 2017 09:19 AM

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said sexual harassment was an issue Congress needed to review annually to ensure its policies were effective, with "zero tolerance" as a goal for lawmakers and staff, The Hill reported Saturday.

"It's not something that we're going to write a bill and walk away from. I think this should be a yearly review of the process. Do we have the best practices in place? And it's something we should come back to every year," McCarthy said.

"There should be zero tolerance. I get upset when I read back finding out later of a settlement that people don't know, of individuals who are serving here and their leadership defending them.

"You should not hide if there's a payment. You should not tolerate it, in any place or form. If you are notified about it, you should make sure to investigate it. You can't allow that activity to happen here in the House," he added.

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., has been pressured by his fellow members in the House to resign following reports he settled past claims of sexual harassment, while facing new allegations of misconduct. McCarthy said he is unaware of any further claims of sexual harassment by House members.

McCarthy maintained the issue was not partisan and explained the issue needed to reflect a changing society.

"We've got to look and make sure we have the right protections here, that everybody's protected. Remember, we are a microcosm of society, so anything good or bad that's happening in society could be happening right here," McCarthy said.

"It is a changing society. How we go about carrying out our work today is different because of social media. How people interact and the jokes they tell to one another, sometime in a different era may be viewed as okay and today it's not. Are those individuals being trained and educated on what's proper inside?" he added.

Critics charge that the current system in the House needs to be more transparent. The House Office of Compliance and the Committee on Ethics currently are charged with resolving issues involving its members.

"If they were to stop at training, no one will believe they have done their jobs," said Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women's Law Center. "If you have training without any sense that there will be real accountability, then it's not going to make any sort of dent.

"The public needs to understand what it looks like as well. It cannot just be that entirely closed off process where no one knows anything about how they're making decisions. They're not going to inspire confidence," she added.

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House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said sexual harassment was an issue Congress needed to review annually to ensure its policies were effective, with "zero tolerance" as a goal for lawmakers and staff, The Hill reported Saturday."It's not something that we're...
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, sexual harassment
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2017-19-02
Saturday, 02 December 2017 09:19 AM
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