Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) forcefully threw his support behind a proposal to mandate sexual harassment training on Capitol Hill during an interview on Tuesday.
“We agree with that. It should happen. We want it to happen,” the Senator told The Daily Beast. “Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), the [minority party’s] head of Rules Committee, is going to put together a proposal, hopefully with [Senator Richard] Shelby (R-AL), and we will make it happen.”
Capitol Hill is hardly immune from the issue that has upended Hollywood and journalism in recent weeks. Last week, the Associated Press reported that female lawmakers had long been subjected to inappropriate behavior, lewd advances, and harassment in the workplace.
Schumer’s support for efforts to force sexual harassment trainings gives a boost to those in Congress hoping to quickly address the problem, both within its own halls and outside of it. On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a Senate resolution that would make sexual harassment programs mandatory for all employees of the chamber. Klobuchar was among the signatories, along with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley. Despite Schumer’s hopes, Shelby is not, thought that could change.
Earlier in the day, nearly 400 Hill staffers signed a letter to leadership imploring them to take such a step.
Speaking from his office in the Senate, Schumer called sexual harassment a “scourge” that needed to be addressed both across the country and in the halls of political power.
“[We should be doing] everything we can to stop this,” he declared. “If it is here on the Hill it ought to be treated the same way as anywhere else.”