Slush Fund to Pay Congressional Sexual Harassment Claims

November/30/2017 23:32PM
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The information is public:

I you don’t choose to paw through the data I will summarize. :

Yearly breakdowns dating back to 1995 can be viewed here (click on the year desired then scroll to “Part Three Fiscal Year 2016 Detail of Appropriations, Outlays, and Balances,” then click on the report for the Legislative Branch).

Citing increased public interest in the issue of sexual harassment settlement funding sources, Office of Compliance Director Susan Tsui Grundmann released a compilation of money paid from the fund by year since 1997, totaling more than $17 million. But not all of that money went to congressional harassment cases, she pointed out. The money is used to settle workplace disputes on Capitol Hill and the amounts for various complaints are not broken out by type:

A large portion of cases originate from employing offices in the legislative branch other than the House of Representatives or the Senate, and involve various statutory provisions incorporated by the [Congressional Accountability Act], such as the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The statistics on payments are not further broken down into specific claims because settlements may involve cases that allege violations of more than one of the 13 statutes incorporated by the CAA.

In at least one of the high-profile cases, that of accusations of harassment leveled against Sen. John Conyers (D-Michigan), settlement money was paid by his congressional office budget, not the Treasury fund overseen by OOC.

The last comment sums it all up. These elected officials who were cavorting about like fraternity lads and now joined by the likes of Matt Lauer, didn’t run the dirt through the Office of Compliance, they just paid it out of their congressional budget like Conyers.

So the excitement about the $17 million slush fund is fake news. Yes, there are dozens of future harassment claims coming for these clowns, and yes, they paid people to keep quiet, and yes, the taxpayers paid, but we will not know the magnitude and the culprits until the accusations unfold and someone can investigate.

Meanwhile, we can revel in the thought that there are a lot of sleepless people in Washington DC, NYC is the news offices, and in Hollywood, because there were no rules in any of the three places and some of the truth will emerge. Women and men who were abused now know they can come forward with impunity and they will come.

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