House

Ryan: Congress will stop using taxpayer dollars to settle harassment claims

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Wednesday that Congress plans to stop using taxpayer dollars to settle sexual harassment cases against lawmakers.

On Wisconsin's WISN Radio's "The Jay Weber Show," Ryan said that congressional committees are currently at work on a "wholesale reform package" for sexual misconduct procedures.

When asked whether Congress would stop using taxpayer dollars to settle these cases, Ryan replied, "Yes, that's among the things we're working on right now."

Ryan added that he agrees with Weber's assertion that using taxpayer dollars to settle harassment claims is "indefensible."

The House and Senate have both voted to mandate sexual harassment training for members and staff, and both bodies are pushing for reforms in how Congress deals with sexual harassment.

In recent weeks, three lawmakers have resigned over sexual misconduct allegations: Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) and Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.). Conyers's accuser was paid a nearly $30,000 settlement using taxpayer dollars.

Reports of other taxpayer-funded settlements have emerged, including an $84,000 settlement paid to settle a claim by a former staffer for Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas).

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