In Congress, if lawmakers responsible for sexual harassment agree to a legal settlement with their victims, they do not personally have to pay out with their own money – instead, these funds are paid by taxpayers.
The details of these settlements are also completely withheld from the public.
As it stands, both of these rules are extremely problematic for their lack of accountability and transparency.
Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York seeks to change this. She has gained the backing of 20 senators, including eight Republicans. With bipartisan support, she drafted an attachment to the currently debated federal budget bill which would mandate important changes be made: Lawmakers would be required to pay settlements out of their own pockets and victims would have the option to make their settlements public knowledge. However, this was removed from the bill at the last minute by House Republicans.
If you believe that lawmakers should not be above the laws they themselves pass and subject the rest of us to, then tell Sen. Gillibrand that you support her agenda and want to see her draft a bipartisan bill with these changes and have it sent to a vote by adding your name to this petition! Please remember to also share this with friends, family and on social media!