WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) cosponsored bipartisan, comprehensive legislation to prevent and respond to sexual harassment in Congress. The Member and Employee Training and Oversight On (ME TOO) Congress Act introduced by Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) will require more transparency, overhaul the flawed complaint process, and provide better support for victims and whistleblowers. Additionally, both the House and Senate bills will require mandatory annual training for Members and staff, implement climate surveys to show the true scope of this problem, give interns and fellows the same protections as full-time staff, and end forced mediation.
“Sexual harassment and assault cannot be tolerated in our society, whether it’s in the halls of Congress, in the military, at home, in the executive suite, or anywhere else. The prevalence of sexual harassment and assault is deeply concerning and it is clear that it has been swept under the rug for far too long. We in Congress must take serious steps to address this issue head on,” said Sen. Heinrich. “I am proud to cosponsor this legislation that will require mandatory sexual harassment training for both Members and staff, and bring greater transparency and accountability to the complaint process. I am committed to working with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to improve how we prevent and respond to sexual harassment and assault, and cultivate a safer and more respectful work environment.”
Senator Heinrich is leading efforts to confront the issue of sexual assault and harassment and recently cosponsored the Military Justice Improvement Act to professionalize how the military prosecutes serious crimes like sexual assault and remove the systemic fear that survivors of military sexual assault describe in deciding whether to report the crimes committed against them.