Congress to Explore Sexual Harassment in the Service Industry
Bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues hosting hearing Monday

Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., says for women working in the service industry, “quitting is not an option.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congress wants to take a harder look at victims of sexual harassment who don’t have much clout.

The bipartisan Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues is hosting a hearing, “Beyond the Headlines: Combating Service Sector Sexual Harassment in the Age of #MeToo” on Monday.

For Harassment Cases, House Staffers Have Key Legal Resource Others Don’t
Most federal employees on the Hill don’t have access to free lawyer

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, right, and California Rep. Jackie Speier hold a news conference in November to introduce legislation to address and prevent sexual harassment for Capitol Hill staffers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Thanks to new internal House policies, staffers in the chamber now have access to a 24/7 hotline for legal advice on employment complaints. They can even retain a free lawyer for the entire in-house counseling and mediation process when they think they’ve been harassed, discriminated against or otherwise aggrieved.

But if you’re a U.S. Capitol Police officer, a janitor at the Capitol, an intern on the Senate side or a gardener at the Library of Congress — well, you’re on your own.

Pelosi Mum on Whether Kihuen Should Seek Re-election
Nevada congressman announced he wouldn’t seek re-election after sexual harassment allegations

Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., and his guest Astrid Silva, a Dreamer, are seen in the Capitol Rotunda before President Donald Trump's State of the Union address in January. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was mum on whether Nevada Rep. Ruben Kihuen should seek re-election after saying he would not after being accused of sexual harassment.

“When he makes a decision, I’ll give you a reaction to it,” the Democratic leader said at a press conference Thursday.

#MeToo Era Breathes New Life Into Equal Rights Amendment Crusade
Nearly 40 years after amendment failed to garner support of three-quarters of states, activists remain optimistic

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., introduced a joint resolution in February 2017 to facilitate the ratification of the elusive Equal Rights Amendment. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As millions of women are speaking out against sexual predators as part of the #MeToo movement, prompting deeper discussions about the feminist movement at large, Equal Rights Amendment activists have renewed hope that they can finally secure the ratification of a 24-word amendment five decades after it first garnered the necessary majorities in the U.S. House and Senate.

“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex,” the amendment states.

New Training Available for Hill Staffers Who Witness Sexual Harassment
Lawmakers implemented training requirements late last year

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., right, and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., introduced legislation to address and prevent sexual harassment for Capitol Hill staff late last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New training is now available for staffers on Capitol Hill on what to do as a bystander or witness to sexual harassment as offices move to comply with the new anti-harassment training requirements implemented by the House and Senate late last year.

“If you see something, say something” may work for unattended bags on  the Metro, but what to do when you’re witnessing sexual harassment in the workplace is less straightforward. The Office of Compliance, which oversees workplace rights and training for Capitol Hill is introducing trainings — both online modules and in-person — on bystander intervention and general training to combat workplace harassment.

Former Meehan Chief of Staff Resigns from Dunn’s Office
Comes after being named in ethics probe of his former boss

The former chief of staff to Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Fla., resigned amid an ethics probe. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The chief of staff for Florida Rep. Neal Dunn has resigned amid being cited in a House Ethics Committee probe of his former boss Pennsylvania Rep. Pat Meehan.

The House Ethics Committee announced the creation of a subcommittee to investigate Brian Schubert and Meehan, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. Schubert previously worked for Meehan.

Lesko Wins GOP Primary in Arizona Race to Replace Rep. Trent Franks
Ex-state senator to face Democrat Hiral Tipirneni in April 24 special election

Former Arizona state Sen. Debbie Lesko has won the Republican primary in the 8th District special election. (Screenshot Debbie Lesko for Congress/YouTube)

Former Republican state Sen. Debbie Lesko has won the special election primary in Arizona’s 8th District in the race to replace Rep. Trent Franks, who resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night, Lesko finished first with 36 percent of the vote, The Associated Press reported. Her nearest challengers, former state Rep. Phil Lovas and former state Sen. Steve Montenegro, trailed with 24 percent each. Lesko is in a strong position heading into the April 24 general election against Democrat Hiral Tipirneni in a district President Donald Trump carried by 21 points. 

Kelly Knocks Kushner’s Clearance Down a Peg
President left decision on son-in-law to chief of staff

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, leaves the Hart Senate Office Building after an interview with Senate Intelligence Committee staff on July 24. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

White House aides are not disputing reports that Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, no longer has a top-secret security clearance, limiting the amount of sensitive information he can view.

Kushner, a senior White House adviser to his father-in-law, has had an interim clearance at the TS/SCI, or “Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information,” level since Trump took office on Jan. 20, 2017. Chief of Staff John Kelly, however, has downgraded Kushner’s interim clearance to the “Secret” level as part of a West Wing crackdown on interim clearances.

Applegate’s Ex-Wife Defends Him Against Abuse Allegations
Charges resurface against Democratic candidate who almost beat Issa in 2016

Doug Applegate narrowly lost to Darrell Issa in 2016, but has seen support go to other Democratic candidates this cycle. (Doug Applegate via Facebook)

The ex-wife of Democratic candidate Doug Applegate defended him as accusations of domestic violence resurfaced in the race for California’s 49th District.

The retired Marine colonel is one of several Democratic candidates running to replace Republican Rep. Darrell Issa after the San Diego area Republican announced he would not seek re-election.

Daylin Leach Ends Bid for Pennsylvania House Seat
Comes after being accused of inappropriate sexual behavior

State Sen. Daylin Leach ended his congressional bid after being accused of sexual misconduct. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic state Sen. Daylin Leach ended his bid for Pennsylvania’s 4th Congressional District months after being accused of sexual misconduct.

Leach explained his decision to drop out of the race in a Facebook post over the weekend.