Rumors and allegations of sexual harassment spanning back years have been heard in the halls of Congress not against people in one agency but many. There was DHS in 2012 when there were over 200 female security field complaints. In 2013, State Department was involved a large but quickly hushed scandal of alleged incidents during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State in which both ambassadors and security were alleged to have been involved in incidents. EPA in 2016. Education in 2014 through 2017. BLM in 2017. Border Patrol 2017. The list goes on and on. Scandals rocked state governments and cities as well right along with all these agencies.
During the past years, congressional members have raised their voices against these acts, passed legislation on workplace harassment, and everyone in the country including the different agencies have had their days disrupted with whole lectures on such “inexcusable harassment” activities and what to do about them.
YET, as usual those in congress passing judgement on the rest of the citizens but went about their merry ways believing that they were exempt somehow and if they did get caught, well the taxpayers would simply cough up “hush money” in order to buy their way out of the trivial little matter.
The Democrat lawmakers gleefully and with the help of MSM twittered like magpies on any hint of sexual impropriety of President Trump in order to diminish his role as president. Yet they made sure (so they thought) that little would leak out about their own indiscretions.
Until this year — 2017. The year the dominoes began to tip and fall. OOPS!
Congress members and government agencies on both sides of the aisle are coming under fire and being drawn out in the open. When Trump was elected the swamp wasn’t just shocked, it was terrified. They went on a binge of emotional meltdown of mass proportions and we sat back albeit in shock and laughed. Why? Because we knew there was a lot of dirt and muck about to be swept out of the stables.
We knew that those screaming the loudest were most likely to be ones with a lot of muck to hide. They were in the line of people upon whom the dominoes would fall if God and Karma smiled upon the efforts of those moving us back away from the precipice of world governmental rule. And so it has been. Trump is the catalyst but in truth it is those who are doing all the ranting that are bringing about their own demise.
First there was the satisfaction of seeing Anthony Weiner go down in flames and like a well-orchestrated domino cascade, the rest began to topple on sexual harassment. Then there came John Conyers (D); Al Franken (D); Joe Barton (R); Blake Farenthold (R) ; and now Ruben Kihuen (D).
It becomes obvious that congress members may pass or veto bills but obviously are not familiar with their contents. Democrats are most vulnerable in this respect because they have not one independent bone among them and almost one hundred percent of the time vote in mass with whatever Pelosi or Schumer or leaders have chosen to say.
Harassment of a sexual nature is subjective and at times can seem to be nothing more than a means to make someone “pay” for a perceived injustice such as being fired. However, if a complaint is made, the organization is required by law to fill out forms and pursue the issue to make that determination. In many large companies because of the complexity and the statute on harassment, there are a team of lawyers either retained or on staff to handle the issues. Smaller groups and businesses have fewer options and those bringing complaints are often ridiculed or know that their complaints will never be heard.
While congress makes these laws, apparently over the years they have not bothered to attend the same required sexual harassment programs as the general public. In fact, while members of congress and their paid staff are held a bit more accountable, the most vulnerable to such activities are the volunteers who help out every member and agency.
Sexual harassment according to the EEOC rules and law THEY passed for the rest of the country to follow:
It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.
Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.
Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex.
Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).
The harasser can be the victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.
Perhaps the worst news to come out of these allegations is that taxpayers have been funding the “hush money” through the Office of Compliance so that the women (or men) who have been abused or harassed won’t tell their stories to the public.
A memo on the site of Office Compliance noted that with so many inquiries about this issue, they were providing a brief list by year of case settlements. HERE is that list. Don’t get your hopes up on knowing the accused congress member. In 2017 so far nearly a million dollars has been paid out of that fund.
Only now, after being brought out in the open, are lawmakers calling for an end to taxpayer funded settlements. Well, golly gee…
To give her credit, Congress Woman Jackie Speiers (D) has been bringing up the plight of sexual harassment since first elected in 2008. But as usual no one chose to listen. It was only after the light was shined on the problem this year that anything positive is moving toward getting done. Speiers introduced a House Resolution 604 called “CEASE Resolution” on November 2, 2017 to require congressional members to attend sexual harassment training and transparency in the Compliance Office. Many believe it did not go far enough.
Speier said she’s gotten pushback on making lawmakers reimburse taxpayers because “some people can’t afford it.” She countered that lawmakers don’t have to worry about it if they “don’t engage in that kind of” behavior.
Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), who practiced employment law before serving in the House, recommended in testimony before the House Administration Committee that lawmakers accused of harassment should personally repay the Treasury for settlements.
Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) unveiled a bill to ban taxpayer funds from being used to pay for settlements resulting from harassment by a lawmaker and even expel those who were found guilty of harassment.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced Tuesday afternoon that he would require all House members and staff to undergo anti-harassment training.
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), meanwhile, introduced a bill to prohibit the future use of taxpayer money on settlements in cases where lawmakers or staff are accused of sexual harassment. Nondisclosure agreements could no longer be a condition of any settlements under the DeSantis bill, which would also require members and staff who have ever been named in a sexual harassment settlement in the past to reimburse the Treasury — with interest.
Isn’t it amazing though that when their own indiscretions are made public, how quickly Congress can actually act to get something through their chambers……hmmmmm
Perhaps, we should all go digging into a few of those august members public records on finances if there are any available or their health care options or their children’s educational opportunities or…well you get the idea…MAYBE then they will actually get things passed through their respective chambers and to the President that are designed to help citizens of our country financially, tax, health, or security wise.
Grab that flashlight, stoke the fire, whatever it takes, let’s stop the constant attitude of obstruction and illegal activities by those in Congress. Get everyone back on track and working FOR our interests not Obama’s or Soros or some shadow government. If something happening in government can’t pass the light of transparency and citizen scrutiny, then it has no place in our country.