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So, is your favorite Liberal piping mad about President Trump paying Stormy Daniels in exchange for a Non-Disclosure Agreement?
You mean a private citizen making a private deal with his private money?
You’re mad about that?
Then you SURELY must be fuming mad as hell to learn that a reported $17 MILLION of….and here’s the best part……TAYPAYER MONEY has been used to settle sexual harassment claims against sitting Congress members!
How is this not a massive scandal?
I do believe old Tom Brokaw used to call this “The Fleecing of America”.
It's real folks, check out this story from CNN.
And let me just backup one second.
I don't mean to suggest if it's on CNN then it's real.....what I'm saying is when even the far-left leaning CNN will report on a story like this, you know it must be real.....and quite frankly, I'd be willing to bet that the actual number is probably a magnitude of 5 or 10 times the reported number. If not even more than that.
First, please read the headline:
Now the text from CNN, read these stunning details:
Two things have become painfully clear on Capitol Hill this week: Lawmakers and staffers say sexual harassment is "rampant" -- but even members of Congress have no idea just how widespread the problem is.
The controversial and sensitive issue has taken center stage in Congress this week, with female lawmakers making fresh allegations of sexual harassment against unnamed members who are currently in office, and the unveiling of a new bill on Wednesday to change how sexual harassment complaints are reported and resolved. On Thursday, a woman shared her story of being groped and kissed without her consent by Sen. Al Franken in 2006.
So far, there's been little specific data to help illuminate just how pervasive sexual harassment is on Capitol Hill, but one figure has emerged: the total that the Office of Compliance, the office that handles harassment complaints, has paid to victims.
On Thursday, the Office of Compliance released additional information indicating that it has paid victims more than $17 million since its creation in the 1990s. That includes all settlements, not just related to sexual harassment, but also discrimination and other cases.
An OOC spokeswoman said the office was releasing the extra data "due to the interest in the awards and settlement figures." The OOC has come under fire in recent days for what lawmakers and Hill aides alike say are its antiquated policies that do not adequately protect victims who file complaints.
CNN has also learned that during the current Congress, no settlement payment approval requests have been made to the congressional committee charged with approving them.
Here's what we know -- and what we don't know -- about that money:
When was this money paid out?
According to a report from the Office of Compliance, more than $17 million has been paid out in settlements over a period of 20 years -- 1997 to 2017.
How many settlements have there been?
According to the OOC data released Thursday, there have been 268 settlements. On Wednesday, Rep. Jackie Speier, the California Democrat who unveiled a bill to reform the OOC, announced at a news conference Wednesday that there had been 260 settlements. The previous tally did not include settlements paid in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Where did the settlement money come from?
Taxpayers. Once a settlement is reached, the money is not paid out of an individual lawmaker's office but rather comes out of a special fund set up to handle this within the US Treasury -- meaning taxpayers are footing the bill. The fund was set up by the Congressional Accountability Act, the 1995 law that created the Office of Compliance.
How many of the settlements were sexual harassment-related?
It's not clear. Speier told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday that the 260 settlements represent those related to all kinds of complaints, including sexual harassment as well as racial, religious or disability-related discrimination complaints. The OOC has not made public the breakdown of the settlements, and Speier says she's pursuing other avenues to find out the total.
In its latest disclosure, the OOC said that statistics on payments are "not further broken down into specific claims because settlements may involve cases that allege violations of more than one of the 13 statutes incorporated by the (Congressional Accountability Act)."
Who knows about the settlements and payments?
After a settlement is reached, a payment must be approved by the chairman and ranking member of the House administration committee, an aide to Chairman Gregg Harper, a Mississippi Republican, told CNN.
The aide also said that "since becoming chair of the committee, Chairman Harper has not received any settlement requests." Harper became chairman of the panel at the beginning of this year.
It's not clear how many other lawmakers -- if any -- in addition to the House administration committee's top two members are privy to details about the settlements and payments.
A source in House Speaker Paul Ryan's office told CNN that Ryan is not made aware of the details of harassment settlements. That source also said that the top Democrat and Republican on the House administration committee review proposed settlements and both must approve the payments.
Similarly, a source in Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's office told CNN that Pelosi also is not made aware of those details, and that they are confined to the parties of the settlement and the leaders of the administration committee.
"Leader Pelosi has expressed support for the efforts of Rep. Speier who is working on multiple bills to reform the secretive and woefully inadequate process," the source added.
When asked about Ryan's knowledge of any sexual harassment settlements, a spokesperson for Ryan's office noted that the committee is conducting a full review of workplace harassment and discrimination.
Let me draw your attention to this part one more time:
If that doesn't make you mad as Hell, you're not paying attention.
Yet people want to talk about a private citizen making a private deal with his private money?
Give me a freaking break!
#40 Meets #45.....Historic Framed Picture:
Here's even MORE! Also from CNN:
Lawmakers in Congress are furiously drafting legislation to fix the archaic sexual harassment reporting rules on Capitol Hill, but a troubling realization is coming into focus: The true extent of the problem is being shielded by the current system in place.
Multiple congressional offices tell CNN their attempts to find out the actual number of sexual harassment complaints that have been reported, who the complaints are filed against and the amount of money paid out in settlements have been rebuffed. A renewed focus on the sensitive issue comes as some Capitol Hill staffers are starting to speak out about what has for so many decades been a taboo subject in Washington, helping to paint an anecdotal picture of the problem.
Put simply: No one, not even members, have truly been able to quantify the problem.
"Unless you have that, there's no incentive for members to hold people accountable," Tracy Manzer, a spokeswoman for Rep. Jackie Speier, a California Democrat, told CNN.
That Capitol Hill is under sharper scrutiny follows a groundswell of recent sexual harassment accusations that have shined a spotlight on alleged inappropriate behavior and remarks made by powerful men in business, Hollywood and politics.
Transparency in the Office of Compliance
As multiple lawmakers are now drafting legislation, much of the focus has been on what changes can be made to the process of the Office of Compliance -- the little-known agency on Capitol Hill responsible for handling sexual harassment complaints and settlements, which many privately say is completely inadequate in handling these accusations.
Beyond a complicated and cumbersome process of reporting sexual harassment allegations that many lawmakers would like to see rebooted, there are calls for more transparency and plenty of finger-pointing at the office.
The current system in place does not require the OOC to make public the number of sexual harassment complaints, number of settlements reached, the dollar figure of those settlements or which offices are being complained about. Congressional aides say this is giving unintentional cover to the worst offenders in Congress.
The OOC says they do not take the recent criticism personally.
"We have heard a number of things being said about our process, we have pretty thick skin," Susan Tsui Grundmann, executive director of the OOC told CNN, "We know the comments made are directed by the process ... and not an attack on our office."
The OOC biannually comes out with recommendations for Congress of changes they feel need to be made to the process and they have been pushing for years to make sexual harassment training mandatory for employees. But they have not taken a public position on the issues of transparency that recent revelations on Capitol Hill have highlighted.
Many members of Congress drafting legislation are also looking at where the money is coming from if an accuser reaches settlement with a member's office.
Once a settlement is reached, the money is not paid out of the individual member's office but rather comes out of a fund set up to handle this within the US Treasury -- meaning taxpayers are footing the bill.
The OOC does compile a report of the total amount of awards and settlements paid out of the fund at Treasury each fiscal year, a dollar figure that could reveal the extent of the problem on Capitol Hill, but it is not available in the public record, nor broken down by type of settlement -- meaning monetary reporting on sexual harassment settlements is lumped in with all sorts of other work place issues such as Fair Labor Standards Act cases, back pay cases and compensatory damages, sources within the office tell CNN.