congressional-affairs

Opinion: When Holiday Values Meet Policy, It May Be Awkward
From Roy Moore to immigration, there’s plenty of food for thought this holiday season

Partisanship has affected the way people view the Alabama Senate race featuring Republican Roy Moore, who is facing allegations of sexual misconduct, Curtis writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Just as the generosity of Angel Tree donations and turkey giveaways clash with the kill-or-be-killed stampede of folks looking for a Black Friday bargain, the warm holiday greetings lawmakers disseminate this time of year might strike a dissonant cord when compared to the current policies and politics coming out of Washington.

Pre-holiday news has included a tidal wave of charges and accusations of sexual harassment and sexual assault, with some lawmakers preferring to view the stories of women and some men through a lens of partisan politics rather than right and wrong — surely not a positive lesson for the kids gathered around the turkey.

Conyers Must Resign, Top Detroit Newspaper Says
‘A tragic end to Conyers’ public career, but a needed warning that this can never be tolerated’

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., walks down the House steps after voting in the Capitol on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The most widely read print and digital media outlet in Michigan has called for hometown Rep. John Conyers Jr. to resign.

John Conyers Jr. must go — after 53 years in Congress, after a stellar career of fighting for equality, after contributing so much to southeast Michigan and the nation,” the Detroit Free Press editorialized Tuesday.

Investigators Accuse Brady of Concealing Bribe to Primary Challenger
FBI officials combed through Pennsylvania Democrat’s emails to assess his role in payoff scheme

Pennsylvania Rep. Robert A. Brady has been accused by the FBI of leading a scheme to conceal a bribe payment to a onetime Democratic challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The FBI is combing through Pennsylvania Rep. Robert A. Brady’s emails to see if he led a conspiracy to pay off a challenger to drop out of the Democratic primary in his district in 2012.

The bureau has accused the longtime lawmaker of leading a scheme to conceal a $90,000 payment to Jimmie Moore, a former Philadelphia Municipal Court judge. Moore has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with authorities. The email search marks the first time Brady himself has been personally investigated.

By the Numbers: Harassment Claims on Capitol Hill Peaked in 2011
2016 saw the lowest number of claims over the last 10 years

The U.S. Capitol as seen from the East Plaza. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With two Democrats, Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota and Rep. John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, facing allegations of sexual misconduct in and outside the workplace, Hill watchers may be wondering just how many sexual harassment complaints get filed each year in the Capitol. 

The answer is less than clear because Congress’ Office of Compliance releases only topline numbers on the complaints filed with the agency each year. In the OOC annual report on the state of the congressional workplace, harassment is one line item, which could include sexual and other types of hostile workplace harassment. 

Opinion: Sexual Harassment From John Tower to Donald Trump — and Beyond
America has belatedly reached a moment of reckoning about sexual harassment

Sen. Al Franken should stay in the Senate and give Minnesota voters a chance to offer their own verdict in 2020 on accusations of sexual harassment made against him, Walter Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In early 1989, with the inauguration of George Bush, John Tower’s failed confirmation fight for secretary of Defense riveted Washington.

A diminutive former four-term Texas Republican senator who had served as chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Tower seemed, on paper, as a noncontroversial choice.

Analysis: 4 Takeaways From Trump’s First Turkey Pardoning
Even when Trump passes presidential test, Russia matter looms

A protester, David Barrows, wears a President Donald Trump mask while holding a sign outside the White House on Tuesday as the president prepared for the annual turkey-pardoning ceremony. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Drumstick is a free bird, thanks to President Donald Trump.

The commander in chief used his executive authorities Tuesday to pardon the Minnesota-bred fowl just two days before he might have become someone’s Thanksgiving meal.

DeGette Says Former Rep. Bob Filner Groped and Tried to Kiss Her
Colorado congresswoman is first to publicly identify attacker in string of recent sexual assault allegations

Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., said Monday former Rep. Bob Filner, D-Calif., tried to kiss her in a Capitol Hill elevator when they were both in Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Diana DeGette said Monday former California Rep. Bob Filner tried to sexually assault her in an elevator on the Hill “some years ago.”

The Colorado Democrat’s revelation marks the first time in a string of recent allegations from current lawmakers who say they were sexually harassed by members of Congress that the victim has publicly named the accused.

Conyers Admits Settlement With Employee Over Sexual Harassment Case
Michigan Democrat denies allegations after initially saying he didn’t settle

Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr. is facing allegations that he sexually harassed female staff members. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After initially denying that he has settled sexual with any current or former staff members, Rep. John Conyers Jr. admitted Tuesday that he had reached a monetary settlement with a former staff member. But he said the case was resolved “with an express denial of liability.”

“I expressly and vehemently denied the allegations made against me, and continue to do so,” the Michigan Democrat said in a statement, first reported by The Washington Post.

Lawmakers Push Alcohol Tax Cut Despite Rising Drinking Rates
The tax break would save alcohol producers $4.2 billion

Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio leaves the Republican Senate policy lunch in the Capitol on Nov. 14. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Opinion: Time to Investigate Members for Sexual Harassment
Congress needs to root out serial offenders

California Rep. Jackie Speier has shed light on the longtime problem of sexual harassment on Capitol Hill.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

This is not a #MeToo column about sexual harassment on Capitol Hill. I worked in the Senate for nine years and never experienced anything other than professional conduct and opportunities for advancement in my own offices. I was once told my salary would be less than my male predecessor because I wasn’t “a powerful man,” but that’s another issue for another time, and a moment I wish I could go back to again and again, because I know now I could have argued for more and won.

This is a #GetReal column about sexual harassment on Capitol Hill, because now that the longtime problem of sexual harassment on the Hill has been acknowledged, even by members like Rep. Jackie Speier and Rep. Debbie Dingell, it’s hard to believe that the only solutions being proposed are mandatory sexual harassment training or legislation that continues to rely solely on the victims of harassment coming forward to address this embedded cultural disease.