November 9, 2017 - Issue: Vol. 163, No. 183 — Daily Edition115th Congress (2017 - 2018) - 1st Session
SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING FOR SENATORS AND STAFF; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 183
(Senate - November 09, 2017)
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[Page S7167] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING FOR SENATORS AND STAFF Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I join my colleague, the ranking member of the Rules Committee, as she seeks unanimous consent to adopt our antiharassment training resolution. It is closely modeled on a Senate resolution I introduced 2 days ago with Senators Feinstein, Klobuchar, Ernst, Gillibrand, and several other colleagues. This resolution's adoption marks the first time that this Chamber requires sexual harassment training for all Senators, staff, interns, and fellows. I wrote legislation on this topic after contacting the Rules Committee chairman last week to urge that everyone in this Chamber receive antiharassment training. This measure's passage with the Rules Committee chairman's support, just days after I called for the Rules Committee to institute a harassment training requirement for this chamber, is a sign of the wonderful things we can accomplish when we work together in a bipartisan way. More than two decades ago, I sponsored the Congressional Accountability Act as a sign of our commitment to promoting fairness in the workplace. This 1995 statute requires Congress to follow the same civil rights, labor, workplace safety, and health laws to which other employers are subject. It is certainly time for us to make antiharassment training mandatory, but we also may want to revisit the statute to ensure that it is working as intended. According to the Washington Post, over 1,000 former staff have contacted Congress in the last week to urge that we revisit policies relating to sexual harassment, and I am fully committed to doing so. The resolution we have developed would ensure that the Rules Committee has the authority necessary to ensure that every Member of this Chamber, every employee on the Senate payroll, and every unpaid Senate intern receives antiharassment training. All of us work hard to ensure that our offices are professional, free of harassment, and places where merit is rewarded, but I think we have to acknowledge that in our society, despite our best efforts and intentions, sexual harassment remains a serious problem. We must work together to make sure that the Senate remains free from harassment. It is important for every Senate office to have a consistent stance on this particular issue. Every office should receive the same training so the Senate maintains a culture in which harassment is not tolerated. This is a common interest we all share. The voters who sent us here expect the best. We owe it to the American people to hold ourselves and our employees to the highest standards of conduct and professionalism. I will close by again thanking Senators Klobuchar, Feinstein, Ernst, and others for working so closely with me on the measure's development. I also want to take this opportunity to thank the staff of the Senate Chief Counsel for Employment and the Office on Compliance, who worked with our offices on draft after draft of this resolution. Finally, I want to thank our other cosponsors, including our majority leader and minority leader. I urge my colleagues to embrace a sensible approach to preventing sexual harassment by supporting its immediate adoption. Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered. The resolution (S. Res. 330) was agreed to. (The resolution is printed in today's Record under ``Submitted Resolutions.'') ____________________