Senators push for funding bill to include money for sexual harassment training
© Greg Nash

Two female senators are urging Senate leadership to include funding for sexual harassment training in the upcoming short-term spending bill.

Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump| Esper orders hundreds of active-duty troops outside DC sent home day after reversal | Iran releases US Navy veteran Michael White Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump GOP Sen. Murkowski 'struggling' with whether to vote for Trump MORE (R-Maine) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayCOVID-19 workplace complaints surge; unions rip administration Lack of child care poses major hurdle as businesses reopen Democratic leaders say Trump testing strategy is 'to deny the truth' about lack of supplies MORE (D-Wash.) sent a letter on Thursday to Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump vows to campaign against Murkowski after senator's criticism Senate advances conservation fund bill, House introduces companion Paul clashes with Booker, Harris over anti-lynching bill MORE (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerGOP lawmaker calls on Senate to confirm Michael Pack as head of US media agency McConnell blocks resolution condemning Trump over treatment of protesters House Democrat demands answers from Secret Service about role breaking up White House protests MORE (D-N.Y.) asking that the provision be included in the government funding legislation.

"Given the urgency of this problem, we ask that any continuing resolution or omnibus appropriations bill provide additional funding to support updated and improved training for all legislative branch employees, including members and all staff working in the Capitol complex and state offices," Collins and Murray wrote in the letter, which was also sent to Sens. Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranEspy wins Mississippi Senate Democratic primary Bottom Line Mike Espy announces Mississippi Senate bid MORE (R-Miss.) and Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyDemocrats introduce bill to rein in Trump's power under Insurrection Act Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump House punts on FISA, votes to begin negotiations with Senate MORE (D-Vt.), the top two members on the Appropriations Committee.

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The Senate passed a resolution last month making sexual harassment training mandatory. Murray and Collins noted that "sufficient funding" needs to be included so the Office of Compliance can implement the new rules.

Congress has to pass a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government by Dec. 22 in order to prevent a shutdown.

In addition to funding, Collins and Murray are also pushing for the legislation to include "measures to improve the ways that congressional offices respond to both the causes and consequences of these incidents." 

The two senators pitched potential changes, including reforming the complaint process and including "every member of the Congressional community" under the Congressional Accountability Act.

The request comes as Capitol Hill has been rocked in recent weeks by allegations of sexual misconduct involving several members.

Rep. Blake FarentholdRandolph (Blake) Blake FarentholdThe biggest political upsets of the decade Members spar over sexual harassment training deadline Female Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations MORE (R-Texas), who was under scrutiny for allegations of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment, said Thursday that he will not run for reelection.

And in the Senate, Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenPolitical world mourns loss of comedian Jerry Stiller Maher to Tara Reade on timing of sexual assault allegation: 'Why wait until Biden is our only hope?' Democrats begin to confront Biden allegations MORE (D-Minn.) is stepping down after several women came forward to accuse him of inappropriate conduct, including forced kissing and groping.