Since 1995, more than $15 million in taxpayer dollars has been paid out by the congressional Office of Compliance to settle claims, including sexual harassment claims, on behalf of members of Congress and congressional staff. While the amount of money paid is public, everything else is secret. The public doesn't know which members have been involved in taxpayer-financed settlements for alleged misconduct.
What does it say about the sincerity of Congress in combatting harassment when members and staff can have taxpayers cover for their misconduct while keeping it all secret? Members of Congress and staff cannot live under special rules.
Congressman DeSantis introduced a bipartisan bill to protect taxpayers by making congressional settlement data public and barring tax dollars from being used to bail out congressional misconduct.
In February 2018, Congressman DeSantis' transparency provisions were included in the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 Reform Act when it unanimously passed the House.
We must stand up for victims of sexual harassment, and the necessary reforms to the Congressional Accountability Act authored by Congressman DeSantis will help foster a culture of respect on Capitol Hill.