congressional-staffers

Inspired by #MeToo, Some Staffers Are Telling Congress’ Secrets
Beneficiaries of confidential settlements challenge code of silence

A former staff member of Oregon Rep. Greg Walden says he was inspired by the #MeToo movement to release documents outlining a $7,000 workplace discrimination and disability settlement with Walden’s office in 2014. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Cody Standiford is not exactly saying #MeToo.  He’s never been a victim of sexual misconduct.

But he may end up helping congressional staffers who have. The Iraq War veteran recently defied a legal agreement to shed light on how Congress handles harassment and discrimination complaints.

Women’s Congressional Staff Association Looks Back at 10 Years
WCSA is holding a conversation with members on sexual harassment to kick off 2018

Colleen Carlos, president of the Women’s Congressional Staff Association, is a legislative assistant for Rep. Robert A. Brady, D-Pa. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As the Women’s Congressional Staff Association passes the 10-year mark, it is emerging as a resource for sexual harassment issues.

It’s a “hallmark year” for the group, which was founded by four female staffers a decade ago, new president Colleen Carlos said. 

Doug Jones Took Office Leading Senate Democrats in Diversity
Jones chief of staff and transition adviser are African-Americans

Then-Democratic candidate for Senate Doug Jones speaks, flanked from left by Selma Mayor Darrio Melton, Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., and former Gov. Deval Patrick, D-Mass., outside of the Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma, Ala., on Dec. 9. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Alabama Sen. Doug Jones took office on Wednesday as the only Democrat in the Senate with an African-American chief of staff.

Dana Gresham, Jones’ new chief, was previously assistant secretary for governmental affairs at the Department of Transportation. He was nominated by former President Barack Obama and held the position for all eight years of the administration. He most recently was a consultant in D.C.

17 of 2017’s Most Popular Stories
A look back at a contentious year on the Hill

President Donald Trump arrives with Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., left, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for the Republican Senate Policy luncheon in the Capitol to discuss the GOP tax reform bill in November. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, Republicans had high hopes of pushing an ambitious agenda forward and making good on last year’s campaign promises.

But their long-held promise of repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law stalled in the Senate in one of the most dramatic moments of the year. Infighting derailed other agenda items that followed.

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.

Top State Senator Running to Replace Trent Franks in Arizona
Disgraced GOP congressman resigned earlier this month over alleged sexual misconduct

A crowded pool of Republican hopefuls is forming to replace former Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The president pro tempore of the Arizona Senate has entered the race to replace disgraced Rep. Trent Franks, who resigned this month over allegations of sexual misconduct.

Republican Sen. Debbie Lesko intends to resign from her state Senate seat to direct her energy at the 2018 GOP primary, she told the Arizona Republic.

Kihuen Harassment Accuser Not Contacted By House Ethics Investigation
Nevada Democratic rep retiring at end of term over allegations

Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., has said he welcomes the Ethics investigation into claims of sexual misconduct against him. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The woman accusing Rep. Ruben Kihuen of repeated instances of sexual harassment said she has not been contacted directly by the House Ethics Committee regarding its probe into the Nevada Democrat’s behavior.

The woman, Kihuen’s 25-year-old campaign finance director in 2016, accused him of repeated unwanted sexual advances that included physical contact, prompting the investigation.

Measure Aims to Bill Lawmakers for Sexual Harassment Claims
Taxpayer dollars for settlements recently revealed

House Administration Committee Chairman Gregg Harper, R-Miss., hopes to make lawmakers personally liable for their sexual harassment settlements. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers are working on legislation to make members of Congress liable for settlements over sexual harassment claims against them.

The efforts to overhaul the sexual harassment settlement payment process comes after the Congressional Office of Compliance (OOC) released data this month that revealed at leastfour cases in which offices used a total of $199,000 of taxpayer money to settle sexual harassment claims.

Three More Sexual Harassment Settlements Surface
From 2008 to 2012 House paid nearly $175,000

Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House offices shelled out nearly $175,000 in taxpayer money to settle with employees over sexual harassment or sex discrimination claims from 2008 to 2012, according to data released Tuesday by the Office of Compliance through the House Administration Committee.

The OOC did not disclose which offices or individuals settled using money from the OOC Awards and Settlement Fund.

More Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Former Sherman Aide
Matt Dababneh, who worked for California congressman from 2005 to 2013, has announced he’ll resign from Assembly

Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., speaks to constituents during a town hall meeting hosted by California State Assemblyman Matt Dababneh, left, in Van Nuys in February. Dababneh worked for the congressman from 2005 until 2013, when he was elected to the Assembly. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

Three more women have accused Matt Dababneh, the former chief of staff to California Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman, of sexual misconduct.

Dababneh, now a California Assemblyman, announced he would resign from the Assembly on Jan. 1 after being accused of sexual assault while working for Sherman.