There are a lot of infuriating ways Congress spends and wastes taxpayers’ hard-earned money. Welfare for illegal immigrants and housing for refugees are just two examples. But spending millions of dollars to hide sexual harassment could easily be the most outrageous.
According to Representative Nancy Spier, taxpayers have paid millions to settle sexual harassment lawsuits against members of Congress. “We do know there is about $15 million that has been paid out by the House on behalf of harassers…” she revealed on Tuesday.
Testifying before the House Administration Committee, Speier confirmed that harassment of women in Congress is commonplace. She says at least two men, a Republican and a Democrat, have engaged in sexual harassment in the past. After the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Speier feels obligated to speak out. However, she isn’t naming offenders.
“Well, it is my responsibility to address the seriousness of this issue. These survivors are subject to a non-disclosure agreement. I’m not going to violate their non-disclosure agreement,” Speier told NBC’s Chuck Todd. We understand why she is protecting the victims. It’s not their fault, after all.
Nevertheless, we must ask- who is protecting the taxpayers?
The California rep attempts to answer that question. “I think moving forward we have got to take steps to make sure that there is transparency,” she stated. “That in fact, the harasser is not going to have the settlement paid for out of the U.S. Treasury and have all the taxpayers paying for it. It should be something that is paid for by the individual.”
In the Dark
Sadly, as we often see with Congress, what ought to be done and what is done are two very different things. Speier agrees that voters have a right to know about the settlements, but says they don’t right now. “Well, I think you do have the right to know. But right now, under the system, you don’t have a right to know.”
Not very comforting, is it?
They can’t manage to give citizens affordable healthcare and lower taxes, but they can afford to cover up sexual harassment. That money could’ve helped so many struggling families. But, instead of help, they got expensive tickets to the Congressional “sexcapades.”