Blackburn, Cooper Bill Would End Hush Fund for Sexual Harassment Claims

Tennessee Congressmen Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) and Jim Cooper (D-Nashville) have joined with three other U.S. House members to out those in Congress who have used taxpayer money to settle sexual assault and harassment claims secretly.

The bipartisan Congressional Accountability and Hush Fund Elimination Act would ban the use of taxpayer funds to settle such claims and require the public release of the names of congressmen who used a confidential Treasury Department fund to settle such claims in the past by posting their names on the congressional Office of Compliance website. Names of the victims would not be made public, but victims could make public statements about their claim.

Any member of Congress who has used the Treasury Department fund to settle sexual harassment claims since 1995 would be required to reimburse the government, with interest. The bill also prohibits nondisclosure agreements as a precondition to address sexual harassment or assault claims.

“We need transparency, safety, and appropriate behavior,” said U.S. Rep. Cooper. Sexual misconduct has no place here, or anywhere.”

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