Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) on Tuesday said members of Congress need to admit they “have a problem” and should be required to complete sexual harassment training program.
“I have spent a fair amount of time on the House floor talking about sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape in the military; in fact, I have spoken 30 times about that issue. But it is apparent that we also need to spend some time talking about sexual harassment in this Chamber,” she said on the House floor.
“This is the Congress of the United States of America,” the congresswoman continued. “This is the House of Representatives of the United States of America. This is not a frat house. Regrettably, this week, another one of our colleagues was discovered engaged in inappropriate action with a member of his staff. This is not the first time. It will probably not be the last time. It happens on the Republican side. It happens on the Democratic side. That doesn’t make it okay.”
On Monday, a surveillance video of Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA) kissing a female member of his staff was leaked to the media. McAllister has since asked his wife, his staff, his constituents, and God for forgiveness.
“It is time for us to recognize that we have a problem,” Speier said. “It is not okay to fondle a staff member. It is not okay to make suggestive comments to a staff member. It is not okay to have provocative pictures on your computer. It is just not okay to conduct ourselves in that manner.”
The congresswoman introduced legislation to require members of the House of Representatives and their staff members to take sexual harassment training classes at least once every 2 years.
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube, below.
[Image via Daniel Chee/The Skyline View, Creative Commons licensed]