Elizabeth Esty

Hundreds of Former Staffers Urge Senate to Act on Sexual Harassment
Senate leadership to receive letter following recess

Congress Too wants to keep the momentum to address sexual harassment strong on Capitol Hill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Over 600 former staffers have signed a letter urging Senate leadership to consider legislation that would address sexual harassment on Capitol Hill. That number continued to grow Friday morning.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, Rules Committee Chairman Richard Shelby and ranking member Amy Klobuchar will receive the letter early next week, coinciding with the Senate’s return.

Nathan’s (Mostly) Political One-Liners: Barn Jackets, HGTV and Close Shots
What’s running through my head on Thursday, April 5

The famous barn jacket made its way into Indiana Democrat Mel Hall’s latest campaign ad. (Screenshot Mel Hall for Congres/YouTube)

My inclination is to write 4,000 words about everything, so I’m trying something new here by limiting myself to one line of opinion or analysis per race or existential thought. Here goes:

With EMILY’s List endorsing Democrat Hiral Tipirneni and the Republican National Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee and Congressional Leadership Fund spending money to boost former state Sen. Debbie Lesko for the April 24 special election, I’m glad we moved the special election out of Solid Republican back in February.

Esty Used Personal Email in Severance With Abusive Staffer
Office threatened to involve Capitol Police over news outlet’s publication of personal email address

Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., announced Monday that she would not run for re-election after much criticism over how she handled complaints against her former chief of staff who threatened to kill another staffer. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 3:16 p.m. | Rep. Elizabeth Esty is not running for re-election, but the fallout over how she handled an abusive staffer’s firing continued to dog the embattled Connecticut Democrat on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, the congresswoman’s office provided Connecticut Public Radio with a copy of the signed severance agreement between Esty and former Chief of Staff Tony Baker, which contained her personal email address. But after the document was published, her office notified the radio station that it had sent the wrong file and asked that it be replaced with a redacted version. 

Lawmakers Rekindle Efforts to End Harassment on Hill but Face Uncertain Future
Recent omnibus did not include sweeping House-passed harassment measure

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., right, blames Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for not including the House-passed sexual harassment legislation in the recent omnibus bill. Also pictured, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A renewed push is underway to more forcefully address Capitol Hill’s sexual harassment problem, just as the latest scandal has led another lawmaker to retire.

It’s not yet clear if a bipartisan call from female senators will be strong enough to prompt Senate leadership to take up legislation to protect staff on Capitol Hill when lawmakers return Monday from a two-week recess. All 22 female Republican and Democratic senators signed on to a letter last week urging Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer to bring House-passed legislation to the floor.

Rating Update: Race for Esty’s Seat Remains Solid Democratic for Now
Connecticut Democrat’s exit may improve party’s chances of holding district

Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., has announced she won’t run for re-election amid reports she recommended her former chief of staff for a job after he was accused of harassing a subordinate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo.)

Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Esty announced Monday she won’t run for re-election following reports that she waited three months before dismissing her chief of staff, who was accused of physically and verbally harassing another staffer, and then recommended him for a job 

“Too many women have been harmed by harassment in the workplace,” Esty said in a statement. “In the terrible situation in my office, I could have and should have done better. To the survivor, I want to express my strongest apology for letting you down.”

Rep. Elizabeth Esty Won’t Seek Re-Election in Wake of Abusive Staffer Disclosures
Connecticut Democrat’s decision opens up potentially competitive seat

Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., says she will retire at the end of this term amid reports of her questionable handling of a former chief of staff who battered, threatened, and sexually harassed a subordinate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Embattled Rep. Elizabeth Esty has decided not to run for re-election, she announced via Facebook on Monday.

The Connecticut Democrat faced bipartisan criticism over the weekend after multiple news outlets reported her questionable handling of a former top aide who battered, threatened, and sexually harassed a female employee in her office.

Esty Asks Ethics Committee to Investigate Her Handling of Abusive Top Staffer
Connecticut Democrat has no plans to resign over incident

Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., is not resigning over her handling of abuse and harassment allegations against her former chief of staff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Connecticut Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Esty on Monday asked the House Ethics Committee to open an inquiry into how she handled abuse, battery, and sexual harassment allegations against her former chief of staff.

“Although we worked with the House Employment Counsel to investigate and ultimately dismiss this employee for his outrageous behavior with a former staffer, I believe it is important for the House Ethics Committee to conduct its own inquiry into this matter,” she said in a statement. “It certainly was far from a perfect process — and I would appreciate their advice, counsel, and review."

Blumenthal ‘Deeply Disappointed’ in How Esty Handled Abuse Allegations
Connecticut Democrat kept chief of staff in her office for three months after accusations of striking, harassing another staffer

Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-Conn., waited for three months before cutting ties with her former chief of staff after discovering he had allegedly punched, berated, sexually harassed and delivered death threats to another employee in her office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he was “deeply disappointed” in the way Rep. Elizabeth Esty, a fellow Connecticut Democrat, handled abuse and harassment allegations by her former chief of staff.

“I’m just learning the facts. I need to know more. There should be clearly, unquestionably no tolerance for harassment or assault in the workplace, and this story should be a reminder of how we need to support and encourage survivors and victims to come forward.”

Photos of the Day: High School Students Rally at Capitol on Gun Policy
The protest as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., greets demonstrators while attending a rally on the West Front of the Capitol to call on Congress to act on gun violence prevention. Students around the country participated in walkouts on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As senators heard testimony Wednesday on the aftermath of the Feb. 14 shooting at Parkland, Fla., high school students were outside the Capitol Building  to rally against gun violence.

Several lawmakers joined the students, who were part of a nationwide school walkout seeking action from states and the federal government following the Florida shooting that left 17 dead. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., entered the protest to loud cheers from the students. 

Chao Goes Off the Rails on New York-New Jersey Project

Secretary of Transportation nominee Elaine Chao testifies as her husband Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., looks on during her Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing on Jan. 11. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao came to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to answer questions about the administration’s infrastructure proposal Tuesday. But she spent much of the time confirming and defending the administration’s attempt to kill a New York and New Jersey rail program.

“Is the president of the United States personally intervening with the speaker to kill this project?” asked Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., referring to a weekend report in The Washington Post that President Donald Trump asked Speaker Paul D. Ryan to kill funding for the Gateway Program.