Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is fed the fuck up. She took to Twitter on Thursday to blast her colleagues for their inaction on a bill that would reform the way sexual harassment is handled on Capitol Hill. The Senate is dragging its feet, but the notoriously chaotic (and full of more bad people, by volume) House of Representatives managed to pass similar legislation with overwhelming bipartisan support 100 days ago.
Gillibrand’s bill would require all congressional staffers and employees to undergo discrimination and harassment awareness and prevention training and would revamp the process for reporting harassment claims, including preventing politicians from quietly using taxpayer money in harassment settlements.
In April, The Atlantic reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was likely to blame for the stall due to alleged skittishness about discrimination liability.
When asked about this sticking point (and specifically the harassment vs. discrimination distinction), McConnell’s office sent me a variation on a statement they’d released before: “As you are aware, Leader McConnell supports members being personally, financially liable for sexual misconduct in which they have engaged. There is a bipartisan group that is continuing to work on legislation. I don’t yet have a prediction on when that will be completed.”
Note that this does not address matters of discrimination, as opposed to “sexual misconduct.”
While McConnell is wringing his hands, people working on Capitol Hill who are being silenced. McConnell has never been one to be moved by human suffering, though.