Taxpayers Have Been Paying Congressmen’s Sex Settlements

Taxpayers Have Been Paying Congressmen’s Sex Settlements November 24, 2017

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Now that the sexual harassment and abuse of women is coming out of the closet, we are learning that elected officials are among the prime offenders.  And it turns out that taxpayers have been paying the settlement money to cover up the offenses!

Since 1997, taxpayers have paid $17 million to settle workplace disputes.  How much of this money is for sexual harassment complaints is not known, since some of the payments would have been for discrimination charges and other issues.

But we do know that some of the money has gone to pay women to drop charges and to sign a non-disclosure agreement, promising not to go public with her complaints.

Now Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) has proposed legislation that would require public disclosure of previous settlements and forbid taxpayer funding in the future.

Read this article by Rachael Bade and Elana Schor,  Pressure mounts to unmask Hill harassers – POLITICO:

Pressure is mounting on congressional leaders to release the names of lawmakers who have secretly settled sexual harassment claims at taxpayer expense — a move that some members of Congress are loath to make.

President Donald Trump told reporters this week that he believes Congress should disclose the settlements. A handful of House members from both parties are calling on Republican leadership to do the same.

And Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) proposed legislation Wednesday that would mandate public disclosure of sexual harassment settlements — and ban Congress from footing the bill for such deals in the future. Within a few hours of introducing his bill, DeSantis had been contacted by several Republican and Democratic lawmakers asking to sign on.

“It’s taxpayer dollars at issue; taxpayers have a right to know how their money is being spent,” DeSantis said in an interview, adding that he doesn’t understand “why the taxpayer should ever be on the hook for private misconduct of a member. … That should not be something the taxpayers are funding.”

[Keep reading. . .]

With women on Capitol Hill compiling “creep lists” of the worst offenders and as more and more politicians are being exposed for sexual misconduct–most recently, Sen. John Conyers (D-Michigan)  and Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), this sounds like legislation whose time has come.  It will be interesting to see if it attracts enough votes.

In any event, taxpayers should not be paying for politicians’ settlements of any kind, even discrimination accusations.  If a  lawmaker has done something improper, taxpayers should not pay for the cover up.

 

Illustration by geralt, via Pixabay, CC0, Creative Commons

 


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