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Lawmakers who hammered out a bipartisan reform of the way Congress handles sexual assault complaints have been patting themselves on the back for bringing accountability and transparency to the process.
They should rest their arms.
A bill passed by the House of Representatives last week and now headed for the Senate would make the complaint process a little easier for victims to navigate and it would require elected officials to use their own money when they make financial settlements in such cases. Good grief. That’s not reform, it’s a limit on indecency.
The bill also mandates training and anti-harassment policies for Congressional offices.
The House also passed new rules that forbid romantic relationships between elected officials and their staffers. Yeah, right.
None of this is bad, or even trifling, but none of it will change the culture on the Hill.
And while the bill will require disclosure of any future settlements related to misconduct complaints, it does not require the release of information about any of the past settlements paid.
Rep. Barbara Comstock (R., Va.), says that is not good enough. She’s right.
That’s $15 million in taxpayer money that went up in smoke — to cover up the misdeeds of people sent to Washington to do the people’s business.
The cover-up remains, and it is revolting.
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