"In fact, there are two members of Congress, Republican and Democrat, right now who serve, who have been subject to review or have not been subject to review, but have engaged in sexual harassment", she said during her testimony.
Comstock - who worked on Capitol Hill as a staffer early in her career and served in the Virginia House of Delegates before being elected to represent Northern Virginia's 10th District previous year - said Congress needs more training and stronger safeguards in place to ensure women don't have to give up their careers to escape sexually aggressive behavior. "At that point, he made a decision to expose himself", Comstock said. He opened the door in only a towel, invited the staffer inside, and proceeded to expose himself.
"I think it's important we name names", Comstock said.
"What are we doing for women right now who are dealing with somebody like that?" she asked.
The comments came during the House Administration Committee's first hearing to review sexual misconduct policy in the House of Representatives.
Speier has proposed mandating harassment training, instituting biannual surveys to address the scope of the problem on Capitol Hill and reforming the "broken" reporting process, which she described as slow and ineffective.
House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Tuesday that there will be a new mandatory anti-harassment and discrimination training for all House members and staff.
"Our goal is not only to raise awareness, but also make abundantly clear that harassment in any form has no place in this institution", Ryan said in the statement.
There is now no requirement for sexual harassment training in the House of Representatives, but individual offices may voluntarily have their staffs attend trainings offered by the Office of Compliance. The Senate just last week passed a resolution making sexual harassment training mandatory, not just for staffers and interns, but also for senators. Payouts to the victims were not financed by the people who engaged in sexual harassment but by taxpayers. "She left, and then she quit her job", Comstock said.
Meanwhile, several Democrats are sponsoring legislation that would change the way sexual harassment complaints are handled. Then they go through mediation. All they ask in return as staff members is to be able to work in a hostile-free work environment. "The victim has no counsel, no support".
The hearing called attention to the incredibly convoluted process a staffer must undergo to report an incident to the congressional Office of Compliance.
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