California congresswoman: 'two members of Congress ... have engaged in sexual harassment'


California congresswoman: 'two members of Congress ... have engaged in sexual harassment'

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 previous year - 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. When the woman arrived at the member's residence, the member greeted her in a towel, Comstock said, and proceeded to expose himself.

Lawmakers in Washington are tackling their own allegations of sexual misconduct.

Over a dozen sources said that there was one California congressman and one Texas congressman who were particularly well-known for sexual harassment.

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

Later this week, Speier will also introduce legislation to overhaul the process that victims of harassment undergo when they file complaints to the Office of Compliance, which she has called "toothless" and says is created to protect harassers and not the harassed. She did not know the identity of the congressman.

Last week, the Senate passed a measure requiring harassment training for senators and congressional aides. Comstock asked. Comstock said there should be clear-cut rules about the kinds of relationships and behaviors that are off-limits and create a hostile work environment.

Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., a member of the committee who has served as a Hill staffer, said she was recently alerted to a situation involving another current member of Congress who exposed himself to a female staffer delivering materials to his home.

Many lawmakers and victims of sexual harassment on Capitol Hill have complained about the process by which sexual harassment reports are handled at the Capitol.

One lawmaker, Republican Rodney Davis of IL, said that some female staffers in his office anxious that "some offices might take a shortcut and not hire women as a way to avoid these issues".

Speier told CNN's "New Day" earlier Tuesday that current policy dictates that individuals coming forward with harassment complaints have to go through a three-month process. The House is expected to follow suit but has yet to make the shift, and Speier called for a sweeping overhaul of a system that can force harassment victims to wait for months, and undergo mandatory mediation, before filing a complaint.

Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), a member on the committee, also said she had heard of a congressman who is now serving who had exposed himself to a young female staffer. "The victim has no counsel, no support".

Barbara Child Wallace, the chair of the Office of Compliance's board of directors, defended the existing process, and told the committee more could be done to raise awareness of the current reporting procedures. "But mandatory training is one very important component of trying to stop this".