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Luke messer interview

Rensselaer Republican: House passes local congressman’s measure against harassment payouts

The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation on Tuesday, Feb. 6 which included a provision Rep. Luke Messer (IN-06) supported. According to a press release from Messer’s staff, the provision will ensure that members of Congress can’t use taxpayer dollars to settle sexual harassment claims.

Messer also authored legislation in November 2017, entitled the Empowering Victims of Sexual Misconduct Act, which would have this same effect. It would also require members who used taxpayer dollars to settle previous claims to fully reimburse the U.S. Treasury out of their own pocket.

“It is completely unacceptable that members of Congress used taxpayer dollars to silence victims and settle sexual harassment claims,” Messer said. “Stopping this slush fund is a step in the right direction, but more should be done. My legislation would also release victims from non-disclosure agreements that prevent them from coming forward and telling their stories.”

Messer’s bill, the Empowering Victims of Sexual Misconduct Act, would also release victims from current non-disclosure agreements and would prohibit similar agreements from being used in Congress again.