Trent Franks

Negotiations Over Sexual Harassment Bills Continue, but No Timetable Yet
Lawmakers report progress on reconciling House, Senate approaches

House Administration Chairman Gregg Harper, R-Miss., says he and his colleagues are making progress on reconciling sexual harassment legislation from the two chambers, but a time frame for enactment is unclear. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Even as lawmakers and staff work to reconcile legislation passed by the House and Senate to curb sexual harassment on Capitol Hill, a timeline for enacting the bills is unclear, months after they were fast-tracked for floor votes.

“We’re confident we are going to get there at some point. We’re not quite there,” House Administration Chairman Gregg Harper of Mississippi said.

What Lawmakers Do When They Leave After Harassment Allegations
Six have left so far this Congress

Former Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., here at a news conference in December 2016, resigned his seat last October amid revelations of an extramarital affair. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Six members of Congress have left office in the past few months after allegations ranging from firing female staffers who rejected sexual advances to pressuring a lover to get an abortion.

While their resignations mean they no longer have a vote in Congress, that doesn’t mean their careers are over. Former lawmakers are moving forward by flying under the radar, grabbing the sides of a lectern or sticking with politics.

Senate Anti-Harassment Bill Could See Fast Action
Lawmakers would be held personally liable for misconduct

Senate Rules Chairman Roy Blunt, R-Mo., says that victims of workplace harassment in the Senate are confronted by a process that is “stacked against them.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 6:34 p.m. | The Senate is moving to combat sexual harassment on Capitol Hill with a bill aimed at overhauling the process for reporting and resolving claims of harassment and discrimination, in addition to holding lawmakers personally liable for misconduct settlement payments.

The proposal, unveiled Wednesday, has the backing of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer. And the chamber could pass it as early as Thursday. The House passed a sweeping overhaul of harassment procedures in February.

Meehan Contributes to Pennsylvania Republicans Following Harassment News
State party says it will use funds from disgraced former congressman to recruit women candidates

Former Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., contributed to a number of Republican groups in Pennsylvania. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Disgraced former Rep. Pat Meehan donated funds to a number of Republican groups in Pennsylvania after revelations he settled a sexual harassment claim against him.

Meehan announced he would not seek re-election in January after the New York Times revealed he used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim against him by a former staffer.

With Debbie Lesko Sworn In, The House is Still Short Members
Chamber still has six vacancies, with some more on the way

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis.,left, holds a ceremonial swearing-in ceremony for Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., right, as her husband Joe holds the Bible on Monday, May 7, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Even with Republican Debbie Lesko of Arizona being sworn in after her special election victory last month, the whole number of the House is 429, still short of capacity.

Lesko of took her oath of office as a member of the House at 6:59 p.m. on Monday, as well as the traditional ceremonial swearing in with Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis. 

Here Are the 7 Congressmen Accused of Sexual Misconduct Since #MeToo
Rep. Patrick Meehan is most recent resignation from Congress over sexual misconduct allegations

Gretchen Carlson arrives for the press conference with members of Congress in the Capitol on a new bipartisan bill to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace on Wednesday. The bill passed the House, but no action has been made in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Pat Meehan announced his resignation from Congress Friday following reports that he used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment complaint with a former aide.

Meehan had previously announced he would not run for re-election. He cited sparing his staff from an Ethics investigation as the cause for the early exit.

Republican Debbie Lesko Wins Arizona Special Election
Victory keeps seat in GOP hands but margin could give Democrats hope

Former state Sen. Debbie Lesko is heading to Congress after winning the special election in Arizona’s 8th District. (Courtesy Debbie Lesko/Flickr)

Updated Wednesday, 12:04 a.m. | Former Republican state Sen. Debbie Lesko won the special election in Arizona’s 8th District on Tuesday night, but her victory margin for a seat that President Donald Trump easily carried in 2016 appeared to be relatively slim.

The Associated Press called the race with Lesko leading Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, 53 percent to 47 percent in early ballots, which accounted for an estimated 75 percent of the total votes cast, according to the Arizona secretary of state’s office. The seat opened up after former GOP Rep. Trent Franks resigned in December amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Here’s What You Should Know About 3 Special Elections Other Than Arizona 8
House control question hovers as 2018 approaches

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., holds a press conference with House GOP leadership in the Capitol on Wednesday. Some pundits say Arizona could follow in Pennsylvania’s footsteps for an upset election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

All eyes are on Arizona tonight but at least three more upcoming special elections will take place ahead of the 2018 midterms.

If you missed it, here’s the skinny on the Arizona 8th District contest between Republican Debbie Lesko and Democrat Hiral Tipirneni to fill Trent Franks seat, which he vacated in December over allegations of sexual impropriety.

Here’s What Tonight’s Arizona 8th Special Election Means for 2018
Race to replace Rep. Trent Franks in the 8th District is Tuesday

Voters in Arizona’s 8th District will choose between Republican Debbie Lesko and Democrat Hiral Tipirneni on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The special election in Arizona’s 8th District will set the stage for a hotly contested Senate race and a handful of competitive House races in the Grand Canyon State. And both parties are watching for indications of what’s to come in November.

More than 150,000 people have already voted in the contest to replace Republican Rep. Trent Franks, who resigned in December amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Democrats are hopeful they can make the race close even though President Donald Trump carried the suburban Phoenix-based district by 21 points in 2016. And Republicans know analysts will be looking at the outcome for signs of a potential blue wave.

Indivisible Combatting Sexual Harassment at Candidate Level
Resistance group also asking candidates to commit to diversity

Indivisible is in the process of selecting its second round of endorsements. (Bill Clark/ CQ Roll Call file photo)

A group founded by former Capitol Hill staffers wants to increase pressure on congressional offices to build harassment-free environments even before members are members.

When the progressive group Indivisible Project questions candidates to see how well they align with their resistance agenda, they also ask, “If elected, will you make every effort to create work spaces for your staff that are safe and free from all forms of sexual harassment?”