Ryan: Harassment training to be needed for House members, aides

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo Ryan: Harassment training to be needed for House members, aides

House users and aides will be required to undergo anti-harassment training, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced Tuesday amid wide calls to crack down on sexual misconduct on Capitol Hill.

Ryan’s maneuver, which echoes action taken by the Senate the other day, came hours after female lawmakers publicly shared knowledge of sexually harassing patterns by at least two sitting users of the House. Reps. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) produced their disclosures at a House Administration Committee hearing on the Hill’s harassment insurance plan, which lawmakers along with aides possess decried as opaque and punitive for victims.

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“Going forward, the home will adopt an insurance plan of mandatory anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training for all users and staff,” Ryan stated in a good statement. “Our goal isn’t just to raise awareness, but also make abundantly obvious that harassment in any form has no place in this organization.”

Senators in both parties are in the first stages of talks on further reforms to the chamber’s existing program for handling harassment complaints, and Ryan signaled that Home members would also start their own discussions on broader improvements.

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“As we work with the Administration, Ethics, and Guidelines Committees to implement mandatory training,” he said, “we will continue our analysis to make sure the right policies and solutions are in place to prevent and article harassment.”

Speier and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) happen to be preparing to introduce legislation that could remove the necessity that victims of harassment on the Hill undergo mediation along with release public data on congressional offices that are the subject of complaints. Both female Democrats are reaching out to potential Republican cosponsors for his or her proposals.

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