Good News, Mr. or Ms. Taxpayer: You’ll no longer be on the hook for secret settlements when a Member of Congress can’t be bothered to refrain from sexual sexual harassment.
House and Senate negotiators have reached agreement to end a secret slush fund used to pay victims of sexual misconduct by our esteemed elected officials.
The New York Post reports:
Instead (of secret, taxpayer funded settlements], members of congress would be required to pay out of their own pockets settlements stemming from their bad behavior and those awards would be made public.
. . .
Records show that nearly $300,000 in taxpayer dollars were spent between 2003 and 2007 to settle 13 claims of sexual harassment or sex discrimination against members of Congress or their offices.
The compromise legislation, which is expected to pass both the House and Senate in the coming days, would eliminate the mandatory counseling and cooling off periods that made victims wait months before moving forward with a complaint.
Employees would have a dedicated advocate in filling harassment claims. And Congress would regularly survey employees to measure confidentially incidents of sexual harassment and discrimination.
Good riddance to a perk that allowed elected officials to get by with offenses that would have doomed anyone else and, adding insult to injury, send the bill to the taxpayer.