Congress Is Putting Sexual Assault On Your Dime And There's Nothing You Can Do About It

By Morgan Phillips on November 24, 2017

Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, James Toback, Louis C. K. Mark Halperin, Roger Ailes, Charlie Rose, and so many more. Cultural icons and public bearers of the truth. As deplorable as their actions are, they deserve to have their name tarnished forever. But, at least they do not have a civic duty to the American people. At least they did not take an oath to serve as ethical representation for all citizens.

Such is the case with Roy Moore, Al Franken, and John Conyers, among others. Some of the people in which we place the utmost trust of our very livelihood are failing us in one of the most shameful ways. But it gets better – we’re paying for them to do it.

via Unsplash.com

In the case of Conyers, the alleged victim was paid off from Conyers’ taxpayer-funded office budget. Usually, it is paid out of the Settlement and Awards Fund set up by the same institution delegated to mediate the dispute, the Congressional Office of Compliance. The Settlement of Awards fund is made up of however many tax dollars it takes to keep victims quiet. The fund is not included in the yearly legislative appropriations budget because it is not clear how much will be needed each year – so far in 2017, the office has paid out around $1 million in settlements.

Victims cannot make a formal complaint until three months have passed and cannot wait more than six months to file. All accusers must sign a confidentiality agreement and once their settlement is paid, they must not release the name of their harasser. There is no incentive in place to not sexually harass, other than seemingly absent personal ethics and values. The public will never know and we as voters will just pay the settlement.

It is clear that when this mode of operation was launched, the intent was to protect the institution at the expense of justice. This despicable yet comparatively small corrupt system brings to surface the question – what else? If Congress feels they can take the liberty of putting sexual harassment on America’s tab, what else do they secretly charge our card for without second thought?

America is sick of watching Congress fail to hold itself to the same accountability measures to which the rest of us are held, which is why Congresswoman Jackie Speier is pushing for legislation to reform the Office of Compliance. Her legislation repeals nondisclosure agreements, simplifies and quickens the tedious process of investigation which discourages women from coming forward, and most importantly, requires members of Congress to personally reimburse the Federal Treasury for any sexual harassment settlements paid out on account of their actions.

American taxpayers never asked to pay a single cent in settlements and for the government to do so is robbery; plain and simple. So, members of Congress, if you’d like to be a pervert, do it on your own dime.

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