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Lawmakers say sexual harassers serving in Congress

Lawmakers say sexual harassers serving in Congress

House Democrat Jackie Speier, an advocate for an improved anti-harassment system in Congress, said she was aware of two sitting congressmen, a Republican and a Democrat, who "have engaged in sexual harassment".

"Our goal is not only to raise awareness, but also make abundantly clear that harassment in any form has no place in this institution", Ryan said in the statement.

"What are we doing here for women right now who are dealing with somebody like that?"

"In fact there are two members of Congress, Republican and Democrat, who serve right now who have been subject to review, or not been subject to review, that have engaged in sexual harassment", said Speier.

Comstock - who worked on Capitol Hill as a staffer early in her career and served in the Virginia House of Delegates before being elected to represent Northern Virginia's 10th District a year ago - said Congress needs more training and stronger safeguards in place to ensure women don't have to give up their careers to escape sexually aggressive behavior.

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Until Ryan's announcement Tuesday, there was no requirement for sexual harassment training in the House of Representatives. A petition calling for Congress to make training mandatory has gained more than 1,500 signatures from former Hill staffers. A number of lawmakers have also come forward and shared stories of harassment they faced - either during their time as lawmakers or when they previously worked on Capitol Hill as aides.

Congressional leaders said they are ready to order mandatory sexual harassment prevention training for all offices of the U.S. House, but there is no timetable for getting that done. One Republican has suggested that if elected, Moore should be expelled from the Senate. Tuesday's hearing was stark and sometimes graphic.

She did not name the lawmakers mentioned in her testimony, citing the non-disclosure agreements she wants to eliminate.

"Many of us in Congress know what it's like, because Congress has been a breeding ground for a hostile work environment for far too long", she said in an October video encouraging other staffers to tell their stories. Alabama's Republican nominee for Senate has come under fire after several women have come forward with accounts of sexually inappropriate behavior or, in at least one case, assault, at Moore's hand when they were teenagers. After 30 days of mandatory mediation, during which the office or member is represented by House of Representatives counsel, they then have to go through a 30 day "cooling off period". "But mandatory training is one very important component of trying to stop this".