According to the Associated Press and USA TODAY, U.S. House and Senate negotiators reached an agreement on Wednesday about a bill to overhaul how sexual misconduct allegations in Congress are handled.
The new bill will make lawmakers -- not taxpayers -- financially liable for those settlements.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand are praising the bipartisan agreement.
Sen. Cruz released the following statement on Friday:
“In the last year, as scores of victims have come forward to share their stories of abuse, it has become overwhelmingly apparent that workplace misconduct is far too common,” Sen. Cruz said. “These stories come from across the country – from Hollywood studios, newsrooms, corporate America, universities, athletic institutions, and the halls of Congress. Sexual harassment is wrong, and it should never be tolerated. Offenders must be held accountable. I have been proud to work with Sen. Gillibrand on reform, and am glad this bill empowers victims to report sexual harassment and bring their perpetrators to justice. I will continue working with my colleagues to stop the cycle of sexual harassment, and ensure no one is above the law.”
Sen. Gillibrand also released a statement on Friday:
“Taxpayers should never be left on the hook for politicians' sexual harassment scandals. Yesterday, Congress came together to pass an important reform to make sure that never happens again. Congress should never be above the law or play by their own set of rules,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said. “What we have seen over the last two years with the #MeToo movement is that sexual assault and sexual harassment are pervasive across our entire society. Passing the Congressional Harassment Reform Act was a step in the right direction but we still have more work to do to reform our broken system and increase transparency. I will continue to fight in the Senate for legislation that will help create better, safer and fairer work environments for men and women in all industries.”
According to Sen. Cruz's office, he has long championed reform on this issue. He joined a letter in April 2018 which called upon Senate leaders to reform the Senate's sexual harassment rules.