The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation Tuesday that includes a provision Rep. Luke Messer (IN-06) fought for to ensure Members of Congress can’t use taxpayer dollars to settle sexual harassment claims.
The bill passed Tuesday prevents Members of Congress from using taxpayer money to settle sexual harassment claims in the future.
Messer authored legislation in November that would not only end the taxpayer-funded slush fund, but also require Members who used taxpayer dollars to settle previous claims to fully reimburse the U.S. Treasury out of their own pocket.
“It is completely unacceptable that members of Congress used taxpayer dollars to silence victims and settle sexual harassment claims,” Messer said. “Stopping this slush fund is a step in the right direction, but more should be done. My legislation would also release victims from non-disclosure agreements that prevent them from coming forward and telling their stories.”
Messer’s bill, the Empowering Victims of Sexual Misconduct Act, would also release victims from current non-disclosure agreements and would prohibit similar agreements from being used in Congress again.