If Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on anything else on Capitol Hill, they can at least agree that something has to be done about sexual harassment in the workplace — specifically, their own workplace, amid their own colleagues.
As POLITICO reported Thursday evening, the Senate actually agreed on something, for once, and unanimously agreed on a bill that would require mandatory sexual harassment training for senators and staff.
‘The Senate unanimously approved legislation late Thursday that institutes mandatory sexual harassment training for senators and aides – a potentially meaningful shift amid calls for overhauling Capitol Hill’s systems for handling harassment complaints.’
The move comes after several scandals of celebrities sexually harassing young women and men have been made public. Worse yet, everyone on the Hollywood scene seemed to know about the ongoing behavior and never spoke out.
Funnily enough, the move also comes on the same day that news broke that Roy Moore, the nominee for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Alabama seat in the Senate, has been accused of sexually harassing someone under the age of 18 several years ago.
What’s shocking about the bill is that it was in part co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Yes, McConnell actually did the right thing. The bill was also co-sponsored by Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the Senate Minority Leader.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn) commented on the bill:
‘Sexual and workplace harassment is a widespread problem that affects too many women and men in too many places, professions, and industries. Everyone deserves to feel safe and comfortable at work, and the passage of this official Senate policy is an important measure to ensure that’s the case in these halls.’
It’s definitely a start and should serve as an example to state governments across the United States. However, the bill did not address the issue with the processing of complaints. Currently, the process of filing a complaint requires the alleged victim to have to go through “mandatory counseling and mediation” before they can even file their grievance.
Capitol Hill — which is full of men — still has a long way to go.
Featured image by Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images.