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Republicans join Dems in demand to out members who settled sexual harassment settlements and misconduct complaints

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Prominent Republican senators on Thursday embraced a push to overhaul rules for addressing sexual harassment in the U.S. Congress, signing on to a bill that would protect victims and require lawmakers to pay for their own settlements.

The legislation builds on demands to lift the veil of secrecy around sexual harassment and misconduct on Capitol Hill, and has gained momentum in recent months as a wave of women have come forward with accusations against prominent American men in politics, media and entertainment.

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The bipartisan push signaled momentum in the Republican-led U.S. Congress for overhauling a process for handling misconduct allegations that many lawmakers say is antiquated and stacked against victims.

The bill, called the Congressional Harassment Reform Act, draws from proposals that Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Jackie Speier, both Democrats, have been developing.

High-profile Republican senators co-sponsoring the bill include John Cornyn, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican; Ted Cruz, Joni Ernst and Lisa Murkowski.

The legislation would require any member of Congress found liable for harassment to pay settlements themselves, rather than with taxpayer funds, as the current process allows.

“Congress is not above the laws, and secret settlements with taxpayer money to cover up harassment should no longer be tolerated,” Cruz said in a statement.

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Settlements would be made public automatically unless victims choose to keep them private.

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell and Caren Bohan; Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball; writing by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Caren Bohan and David Gregorio)


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2020 Election

So long, Steve King: 9-term white supremacist GOP congressman from Iowa loses primary

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U.S. Congressman Steve King, nine-term Republican of Iowa, has just lost his primary to a GOP challenger. It’s a huge fall from grace: In 2014 The Des Moines Register labeled the former earth-moving company founder a “presidential kingmaker.”

But his racist, white nationalist, white supremacist, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, homophobic, transphobic, biphobic remarks and disturbing ties to far right radical European politicians – including one he endorsed who has ties to a neo-Nazi, finally caught up with him.

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When the president’s son-in-law truly was a great success

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For many Americans, the idea of the president tasking his son-in-law with solving national, even international, crises, seems problematic, if not absurd. But it happened once before and turned out to be the kind of “great success story” our current first family wants us to believe in again. Slightly over a century ago, as the US mobilized for the First World War, the nation faced devastating breakdowns of its financial and transport systems. In response, President Woodrow Wilson leaned heavily on his talented and experienced Treasury Secretary, William McAdoo, who just happened to be his son-in-law. Looking back at this episode tells us a lot about what makes for successful emergency management at the highest levels of government.

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Here are 7 ways Donald Trump is just like Henry Ford — and why that’s not good for American democracy

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On May 21, speaking at the Ford Motor Company’s Rawsonville plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Donald Trump paid his latest homage to Henry Ford, lauding the family’s “good bloodlines” with Ford’s great grandson sitting in the front row.

Ford, like Trump, was obsessed with bloodlines—with the idea that race and genetic origins determined who counted as the “best people.”

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