"In the last twenty years, there have been 260 settlements at a cost to the taxpayers of this country of $15 million".
She says Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan most likely know the names of the alleged offenders and are hiding that information from the public.
"These harasser propositions such as, Are you going to be a good girl, to perpetrators exposing their (beep), to victims having their private parts grabbed on the House floor", she said.
Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA), a member of the committee, also shared a story she said she had been told recently about an encounter one unidentified female staffer had with her boss, a current member of Congress.
"For all intents and purposes, a staffer in the Capitol is powerless and gagged", Speier testified on Wednesday. "These survivors are subject to a non-disclosure agreement".
Specifically, the so-called ME TOO Congress Act, H.R. 4396, would amend the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 to reform provisions concerning procedures for investigating and resolving allegations that legislative branch employing offices violated the rights and protections provided to their employees, including protections against sexual harassment.
On Thursday, the still anonymous lawmakers were joined by Minnesota Democratic Sen.
In recent days, a number of female lawmakers have recounted experiences of being sexually harassed on Capitol Hill. Speier added it would also apply to fellows and interns. She said it wouldn't be hard to find instances of harassment here, but declined to elaborate.
"There will not be mandatory mediation".
If the accused is a member of Congress, he or she is represented by lawyers in the Office of House Employment Counsel or the Senate's Chief Counsel for Employment. However, it's still a first step toward preventing misconduct in a system severely lacking in resources: "I didn't even know it existed as a resource", a former female staff member and sexual harassment victim told Politico in reference to the Office of Compliance. Clarification 10:15 a.m. | A spokesperson for Speier said the $15 million figure Speier cited covered all discrimination and harassment claims from fiscal years 1997 to 2016.