(CNSNews.com) — Legislation introduced by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) last month would require the Congressional Office of Compliance to submit to Congress the names of those members who have used taxpayer funds to settle sexual harassment claims, require the members to reimburse the U.S. Treasury, and void non-disclosure agreements so victims can tell their stories.
The “Congressional Accountability and Hush Fund Elimination Act,” introduced by DeSantis on Nov. 30, currently has 88 co-sponsors.
“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?,” DeSantis said in a statement. “This legislation will protect taxpayers by making congressional settlement data public, barring tax dollars from being used to bail out congressional misconduct and requiring reimbursement of the treasury by members and staff who have had taxpayer-financed settlements paid on their behalf. The bill will also allow victims to speak publicly about harassment suffered irrespective of any non-disclosure agreements.”
According to the bill, “Not later than 30 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Office of Compliance shall submit to Congress and make available to the public on the Office’s public website a report on all payments made with public funds prior to the date of the enactment of this Act for awards and settlements in connection with violations of section 201(a)(1) of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995.” read more