Senate Unanimously Passes Historic Sexual Harassment Bill While Trump Is Away

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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.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JANUARY 12: Co-Chairman of The Weinstein Company Harvey Weinstein (C) and tv personality Heidi Klum (back, L) and actress Uma Thurman (front, L) attend The Weinstein Company & Netflix’s 2014 Golden Globes After Party presented by Bombardier, FIJI Water, Lexus, Laura Mercier, Marie Claire and Yucaipa Films at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for The Weinstein Company)

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.

FAIRHOPE, AL – SEPTEMBER 25: Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alabama, Roy Moore, speaks at a campaign rally on September 25, 2017 in Fairhope, Alabama. Moore is running in a primary runoff election against incumbent Luther Strange for the seat vacated when Jeff Sessions was appointed U.S. Attorney General by President Donald Trump. The runoff election is scheduled for September 26. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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.

WASHINGTON – JULY 02: U.S. Senate Majority Whip Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (L) and Chairman of Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) (R) listen during a taping of “Meet the Press” at the NBC studios July 2, 2006 in Washington, DC. McConnell and Schumer discussed various topics including the war on terrorism and the mid-term elections in 2006. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images for Meet the Press)

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.

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