Capitol Hill lawmakers are on the defensive regarding the revelation Congress set up a secret fund to pay sexual harassment misconduct and other worker abuse settlements.
News about a sexual harassment settlement by Representative John Conyers (D-MI) resulted in the long-time lawmaker to resign as the head Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.
As many expect, the existing system in Congress to deal with workplace abuse was set up to protect lawmakers.
Capitol Hill veterans expect that “a lot more” sexual-harassment settlements by lawmakers will be uncovered. So now there’s a race to strengthen workplace rules that are scandalously archaic.
The big picture: The existing system is a racket. Settlements are secret, and the Ethics Committee is notorious for protecting its own. We — as in all of us taxpayers — pay the hush money, because that’s who foots the bills for these settlements. Only a few lawmakers have publicly pushed for broad, quick change.
The discovery of a secret fund to deal with workplace abuse including sexual harassment is another factor driving the call to drain the swamp.