House approves sexual harassment training for congressional offices

The House on Thursday approved funding to train all member offices in preventing sexual harassment.

Adopted by voice vote, Rep. Jackie Speier's (D-Calif.) amendment to the fiscal 2015 legislative branch appropriations bill sets aside $500,000 for sexual harassment training.

ADVERTISEMENT
Speier introduced a similar measure as a stand-alone bill earlier this month in light of a video showing Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) kissing a now-former staffer. Her measure is not aimed directly at his indiscretions, however.

Speier said her amendment would help improve the public's perception of Congress.

"The American people expect us to conduct ourselves befitting the responsibilities and duties we hold as members of Congress, not like we are freshmen in a frat house," Speier said.

The training sessions will inform people what their rights are after they report an incident, and will cover what constitutes sexual harassment in the workplace.

House Administration Committee Chairwoman Candice Miller (R-Mich.) also said that the proposal would be beneficial to the Capitol Hill workplace.

"Every employee that works on this Hill needs to work in an environment that they feel is free from sexual harassment," Miller said. "I think that Congress needs to be a leader on this issue."

The California Democrat's proposal to boost the Congressional Office of Compliance would be offset by cutting the same amount from the Architect of the Capitol's general administration fund.