Text: H.R.4494 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (11/30/2017)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 4494 Introduced in House (IH)]

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115th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 4494

 To amend the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 to prohibit the 
 use of public funds to pay awards and settlements in connection with 
claims under such Act which arise from sexual harassment, and for other 
                               purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           November 30, 2017

 Mr. DeSantis (for himself, Mr. Schneider, Mr. Delaney, Mr. Brat, Mrs. 
Bustos, Mr. Loebsack, Ms. Gabbard, Mr. Williams, Mr. Gallego, Miss Rice 
   of New York, Mr. Cramer, Mr. Messer, Mr. Moulton, Mr. Cooper, Mr. 
Biggs, Mr. Bacon, Mr. Bergman, Mr. Francis Rooney of Florida, Mr. Jody 
    B. Hice of Georgia, Mr. David Scott of Georgia, Mr. Palmer, Mr. 
Fitzpatrick, Mr. Johnson of Louisiana, Mr. O'Halleran, Ms. McSally, Mr. 
Tipton, Mr. Banks of Indiana, Mr. Yoho, Mr. Pittenger, Mr. Polis, Mrs. 
  Black, Mr. Rokita, Mrs. Blackburn, Mr. Fleischmann, Mr. Jones, Ms. 
 Norton, Mr. Pearce, Ms. Pingree, Mr. Norman, Mr. Marino, Ms. Sinema, 
  Mr. Duncan of South Carolina, Mr. Posey, Mr. Costa, Mr. Lance, Mr. 
Gottheimer, Mrs. Mimi Walters of California, Mr. Khanna, Mr. Blum, Mr. 
  Rothfus, Mr. Ryan of Ohio, Mr. Walker, Mr. Buck, and Mr. Gallagher) 
 introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on 
                          House Administration

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To amend the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 to prohibit the 
 use of public funds to pay awards and settlements in connection with 
claims under such Act which arise from sexual harassment, and for other 
                               purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Congressional Accountability and 
Hush Fund Elimination Act''.

SEC. 2. PROHIBITING USE OF PUBLIC FUNDS TO PAY SETTLEMENTS AND AWARDS 
              FOR CLAIMS UNDER CONGRESSIONAL ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 1995 
              WHICH ARISE FROM SEXUAL HARASSMENT.

    (a) Prohibition.--
            (1) In general.--Section 415 of the Congressional 
        Accountability Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1415) is amended--
                    (A) in subsection (a), by striking ``subsection 
                (c)'' and inserting ``subsections (c) and (d)''; and
                    (B) by adding at the end the following new 
                subsection:
    ``(d) No Use of Public Funds for Payments of Awards and Settlements 
in Connection With Acts of Sexual Harassment.--No funds of the Treasury 
of the United States, including the account described in subsection 
(a), an account of the House of Representatives or Senate, or any other 
account of the Federal Government, may be used for the payment of an 
award or settlement in connection with a violation of section 201(a)(1) 
if the violation consists of an act of sexual harassment or sexual 
assault.''.
            (2) Effective date.--The amendment made by paragraph (1) 
        shall apply with respect to settlements and awards paid on or 
        after the date of the enactment of this Act.
    (b) Treatment of Amounts Previously Paid.--
            (1) Report by office of compliance.--Not later than 30 days 
        after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Office of 
        Compliance shall submit to Congress and make available to the 
        public on the Office's public website a report on all payments 
        made with public funds prior to the date of the enactment of 
        this Act for awards and settlements in connection with 
        violations of section 201(a)(1) of the Congressional 
        Accountability Act of 1995, and shall include in the report the 
        following information:
                    (A) The amount paid for each such award or 
                settlement.
                    (B) The source of the public funds used for the 
                award or settlement, without regard to whether the 
                funds were paid from the account described in section 
                415(a) of such Act (2 U.S.C. 1415(a)), an account of 
                the House of Representatives or Senate, or any other 
                account of the Federal Government.
                    (C) The identification of the employing office 
                involved and any individual who committed the violation 
                involved.
            (2) Protection of identity of individuals receiving awards 
        and settlements.--In preparing and submitting the report 
        required under paragraph (1), the Office of Compliance shall 
        ensure that the identity of any individual who received an 
        award or settlement, or who made an allegation of a violation 
        against an employing office, is not disclosed.
            (3) Repayment by perpetrators.--Each individual who 
        committed an act of sexual harassment or sexual assault for 
        which an award or settlement described in paragraph (1) was 
        paid with public funds at any time after the enactment of the 
        Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 shall make a payment 
        to the Treasury of the United States in an amount equal to the 
        amount of the award or settlement involved, increased by an 
        interest rate equal to the interest rate for a Federal Direct 
        PLUS Loan on the date on which the award or settlement was paid 
        in accordance with section 455(b)(8)(C) of the Higher Education 
        Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1087e(b)(8)(C)).

SEC. 3. PROHIBITING IMPOSITION OF NONDISCLOSURE AGREEMENTS IN CASES 
              INVOLVING SEXUAL HARASSMENT OR SEXUAL ASSAULT.

    (a) Prohibition.--Section 401 of the Congressional Accountability 
Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1401) is amended--
            (1) by striking ``Except as otherwise provided'' and 
        inserting ``(a) Procedures Available.--Except as otherwise 
        provided''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(b) Prohibiting Imposition of Nondisclosure Agreements as 
Prerequisite for Procedures.--A nondisclosure agreement may not be 
imposed on any party as a condition of the initiation of any of the 
procedures available under this title for consideration of a violation 
of part A of title II if the violation consists of an act of sexual 
harassment or sexual assault.''.
    (b) Treatment of Existing Agreements.--Any individual who received 
an award or settlement prior to the date of the enactment of this Act 
in connection with a violation of section 201(a)(1) of the 
Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 which consisted of an act of 
sexual harassment or sexual assault and who signed a nondisclosure 
agreement as a condition of receiving the award or settlement may, 
notwithstanding the terms of the agreement, make public any information 
relating to the award or settlement.
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