Senators push mandatory sexual harassment training for members, staff
© Greg Nash

Senators are pushing for changes to the Senate's sexual harassment policy, including making training mandatory.

Sens. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyHigh stakes as Trump, Dems open drug price talks Senate approves border bill that prevents shutdown Grassley raises voice after McConnell interrupts Senate speech MORE (R-Iowa), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFeinstein says she thinks Biden will run after meeting with him Trump judicial nominee Neomi Rao seeks to clarify past remarks on date rape Bottom Line MORE (D-Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Klobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up Harris off to best start among Dems in race, say strategists, donors MORE (D-Minn.), Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstPush for paid family leave heats up ahead of 2020 Ivanka Trump to meet with GOP senators to discuss paid family leave legislation On The Money: Negotiators aiming to reach deal Monday night | Why border talks stalled | Treasury calls reports on dip in tax refunds 'misleading' | Cuomo, Trump to discuss SALT deduction cap MORE (R-Iowa), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandSenate Dems introduce bill to prevent Trump from using disaster funds to build wall Klobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up Sherrod Brown pushes for Medicare buy-in proposal in place of 'Medicare for all' MORE (D-N.Y.), Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoDems slam EPA plan for fighting drinking water contaminants GOP senator: Border deal is 'a very good compromise' Push to include contractor back pay in funding deal hits GOP roadblock MORE (R-W.Va.), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonWhite House, GOP defend Trump emergency declaration GOP senator says Republicans didn't control Senate when they held majority GOP senator voices concern about Trump order, hasn't decided whether he'll back it MORE (R-Wis.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerKlobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up Sherrod Brown pushes for Medicare buy-in proposal in place of 'Medicare for all' Harris off to best start among Dems in race, say strategists, donors MORE (D-N.J.) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOn unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration On The Money: Trump declares emergency at border | Braces for legal fight | Move divides GOP | Trump signs border deal to avoid shutdown | Winners, losers from spending fight | US, China trade talks to resume next week MORE (R-Alaska) introduced a resolution on Tuesday to require members, staff, interns, fellows and detailees to complete the training.

The resolution calls for the Senate Rules Committee to issue rules for sexual harassment training, including requiring training within 60 days once a member or Senate staffer starts their position, and would also give 60 days for anyone who has not previously undergone training to complete it.

"Today, I’m introducing a bipartisan resolution to 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 anti-harassment training," Grassley said in a prepared statement.

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Grassley previously asked the Rules Committee, overseen by Klobuchar and Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyHow the border deal came together Winners and losers in the border security deal GOP braces for Trump's emergency declaration MORE (R-Ala.), to make training mandatory, but was told that the Senate would likely need to pass a resolution giving them that authority.

Klobuchar reiterated that she believes sexual harassment training should be mandatory. 
 “I look forward to working with Senator Grassley and my Rules Committee colleagues to pass and implement this important update to Senate policy," she said. 

The resolution would also require offices to turn over information on who has completed sexual harassment training and pitches change to the Senate's training program including having "practical examples aimed at instructing supervisors in the prevention of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation."

It would also require the Senate's sergeant at arms to develop and conduct an "anonymous survey of Members, officers and employees of the Senate relating to the prevalence of sexual harassment in the Senate during the previous Congress."  
 
In addition to Grassley's previously letter, Gillibrand said late last week that she was working on her own legislation. 

"What you see time and again in institutions all around the country is a culture where power and fear keep sexual assault and sexual harassment in the shadows. Congress is no different. Congress should never be above the law or play by their own set of rules," Gillibrand added on Tuesday.