Walorski Introduces Legislation to Prohibit Taxpayer-Funded Settlements by Members of Congress
H.Res. 642 Requires Repayment of Office Funds, Public Disclosure of Sexual Harassment Settlements
WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today introduced legislation that would prohibit members of Congress from using their taxpayer-funded office budgets to settle sexual harassment claims.
“Taxpayer dollars should never be used to cover up wrongdoing,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “It’s time to put an end to secret, taxpayer-funded settlements over harassment claims in Congress. This legislation would prohibit members of Congress from using their office budgets to settle sexual misconduct cases, and it would shed light on abuses of the system by making settlements public while protecting the identity of accusers.”
H.Res. 642 would prohibit the use of funds from House office budgets, known as the Members’ Representational Allowance, to settle cases involving sexual harassment and misconduct claims against members of Congress or their staff. It would retroactively require the accused individual to personally repay any office funds used in such settlements.
The resolution would also direct the House Administration Committee to publicly disclose online any new settlements it approves involving sexual harassment allegations against members of Congress or their staff. Each disclosure would include a description of the violation, the identity of the subject of the claim, and the amount of the settlement, while protecting the identity of the accuser.
The House on Wednesday unanimously approved new rules mandating anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training for all members of Congress and their staff. H.Res. 630 requires each member, officer, and employee of the House of Representatives to undergo a training session on workplace rights and responsibilities each session of Congress.
Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.