Murkowski Supports Congressional Harassment Reform

Bill Combats Sexual Harassment, Holds Abusers Accountable

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) today supported passage of S.2952, the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 Reform Act, legislation she cosponsored that would overhaul the current reporting process for victims of harassment and discrimination, as well as require Congressional members found liable to pay settlements out of their own pocket. 

“While there are real policy differences amongst my colleagues in the Senate, there’s one thing we should all agree on – every workplace should be safe for employees, as everyone deserves to work in an environment free from harassment and discrimination,” said Senator Murkowski. “I have continued to push for comprehensive reform of congressional harassment policies, as this is long overdue. I have been appalled at the current policies and procedures in place regarding harassment claims in Congress as cumbersome bureaucracy in the Congressional Reform Act seemed to put victims at an uneven table –from not addressing claims in a timely manner, to mandatory cooling off periods and mandatory mediation, to the lack of transparency and reports of settlement payouts using taxpayer dollars. If we as members of Congress are going to change the culture of harassment nationwide, we must lead by example. This legislation guarantees that we are doing all we can to strengthen our own procedures in place to ensure everyone has a safe and protected workplace.”

Background: In March, Senator Murkowski joined her female Senate colleagues by writing a letter to Majority Leader McConnell and Senator Schumer, calling for action to reform the Congressional Accountability Act, to update and strengthen procedures available to survivors of sexual harassment and discrimination in congressional workplaces. In December 2017, Senator Murkowski joined Senators Gillibrand and Cruz in introducing the Congressional Harassment Reform Act, comprehensive reform of congressional harassment policies.