Blake Farenthold

Bill Aimed at Combating Sexual Harassment Unveiled
Legislation would make process more transparent

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock said in December that a bill aimed at combating sexual harassment on the Hill would put victims on “a level playing field.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 3:21 p.m. | A sweeping bill aimed at combating sexual harassment on Capitol Hill was introduced Thursday by House Administration Chairman Gregg Harper. The Mississippi Republican said he hopes the measure will be expedited through the chamber.

Lawmakers say the the bill will make the reporting, resolution and settlement process more transparent, while also protecting victims’ identities and providing options for House employees who come forward.

Texas Redistricting Case Heads to Supreme Court
Lower court ruling found vote dilution and racial gerrymandering

Shirley Connuck of Falls Church, Virginia, right, holds up a sign representing a district in Texas as protesters demonstrate outside the Supreme Court on Oct. 3, 2017, as the court was hearing a case on partisan gerrymandering. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether Texas must redraw its congressional maps because of gerrymanders, in a case that could have major implications for this year’s elections in the Lone Star State.

The justices announced Friday they will review an August ruling from a panel of three federal judges that the current map needs to be changed because it has intentional vote dilution in the 27th District and racial gerrymandering in the 35th District. Those districts are currently held by Republican Blake Farenthold and Democrat Lloyd Doggett, respectively.

Ethics Expands Farenthold Investigation, Announces Kihuen Probe
Committee now looking into whether Farenthold had congressional staff do campaign work

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, announced he would not seek re-election amid sexual harrassment allegations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House Ethics Committee announced it has established an investigation into claims of sexual harassment by Rep. Ruben Kihuen and expanded its probe of Rep. Blake Farenthold.

Two letters released by the committee Thursday laid out the details.

No Definite Sexual Harassment Settlements in Senate, Data Shows
Data from 1997 to 2017 reveals one case of sex discrimination

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., released information on settlements involving Senate offices Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 8:38 a.m. | The Senate appears to have kept a clean slate over the last two decades with regard to sexual harassment settlements, newly released data shows.

The Office of Compliance paid nearly $600,000 from its taxpayer-funded Awards and Settlement Fund to senator-led office employees for 13 settlements — but none of those were filed as sexual harassment cases, according to OOC data made public Thursday by the Senate Rules and Appropriations committees.

Investigative Ethics Panel Established for Kihuen Allegations, Expansion Into Farenthold Claims
A House Ethics subcommittee will look into sexual misconduct allegations for Democrat and Republican

Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., speaks with fellow Democrats at a spring press conference on Trump and Russia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Ethics Committee established Thursday an investigative subcommittee to evaluate separate claims that Reps. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., and Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, engaged in sexual misbehavior, according to a statement from committee leaders. 

The Office of Congressional Ethics had previously investigated sexual harassment allegations from Farenthold’s former communications director. The congressman reached a private settlement with the former employee.

Texas Democrats Drop Bid to Keep Farenthold on Ballot
Congressman announced last week he would not run again amid sexual harassment allegations

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, leaves the Capitol following final votes of the week last Thursday.(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Texas Democrats dropped a lawsuit that would have attempted to keep retiring Rep. Blake Farenthold on the ballot in next year’s elections.

Farenthold last Thursday announced he would not seek re-election next year amid allegations of sexual harassment. But his decision came three days after the deadline to file for the primary. 

Congress Mandated Harassment Training; Now They Have to Pay for It
Costs, details of the popular resolution still up in the air

Lawmakers, with Gretchen Carlson, unveil sexual harassment legislation earlier this month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

 

The House and Senate each adopted resolutions mandating harassment and discrimination training for employees of Congress and legislative agencies. Yet it’s not clear how much the training will cost and what it will include.

Photos of the Week: Jones Wins in Alabama, Tax Conference Gavels In
The week of Dec. 11 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi arrive for a news conference in the Capitol on Wednesday. They spoke out against the Republican tax plan ahead of the Senate-House conference committee meeting. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

At the Races: Jonesing for Another Special Election Yet?
Doug Jones pulled off an upset in Alabama, giving Democrats hope for 2018 wave

AT-THE-RACES-LOGO-01

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races by subscribing to this weekly newsletter here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé and Bridget BowmanThis week … A Democrat won in deep-red Alabama, Minnesota’s getting a new female senator and another Texas Republican isn’t coming back in 2019.

Holding on: We’ll get back to Alabama in a second, but first ... embattled Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold is retiring, GOP sources confirmed Thursday. But he says he’s not going anywhere yet. The four-term Republican will serve out the remainder of his term, which means an ethics probe into allegations of his misconduct will continue. Some of his fellow Texas members were already ready to show him the door. Just last night, Roger Williams endorsed one of Farenthold’s primary challengers. The filing deadline for Texas congressional races was Monday.

Embattled Farenthold Won’t Seek Re-election in 2018
Congressman has been subject of renewed Ethics Committee probe

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, leaves the Capitol following the final votes of the week on Thursday. Farenthold announced he will not seek reelection amid sexual harassment allegations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 9:50 p.m. | Facing renewed allegations of misconduct, Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold will not seek re-election in 2018, he announced Thursday. 

The embattled Republican congressman plans to serve out the rest of his term and is not resigning.