Last week the Washington Post reported that Congress's Office of Compliance paid out $17 million for 264 settlements with federal employees over 20 years for various violations, including sexual harassment. Congress has no human resources department. Instead, congressional employees have 180 days to report a sexual harassment incident to the Office of Compliance, which then leads to a lengthy process that involves counseling and mediation, and requires the signing of a confidentiality agreement before a complaint can go forward. After this an employee can choose to take the matter to federal district court, but another avenue is available: an administrative hearing, after which a negotiation and settlement may follow.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) joined The Todd Starnes Show today to discuss sexual harassment accusations made against Congress members, including Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), and argued that any member of Congress who used taxpayer dollars to fund sexual harassment-related settlements needs to "refund that money with interest". Rep. Blackburn also mentions a new bill she is pushing, sponsored by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) to end "hush funds" used to finance sexual harassment settlements. Listen to the full interview below: