Indiana lawmakers working to hold Congress accountable for sexual harassment

WASHINGTON (WANE)- A group of Indiana lawmakers are working to hold members of Congress accountable for sexual harassment.

The Office of Compliance handles sexual harassment claims against lawmakers right now and it uses taxpayer dollars to pay out settlements. No one is allowed to speak about those settlements.

Indiana Congressman Todd Rokita, Congressman Luke Messer and several other Indiana lawmakers are co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill that would ban the use of taxpayer dollars to pay settlements for sexual harassment or assault claims.

The bill would also require lawmakers to pay taxpayers back, with interest, for any previous settlements. It would also ban non-disclosure agreements, post any settlements online and allow previous victims to speak out.

Messer introduced a bill of his own, that goes a step further and bans non-disclosure agreements even if the harassment claims do not go through the Office of Compliance.

The House and Senate recently passed bills to mandate anti-harassment training.

Messer and Rokita say they hope ending the secretive, taxpayer funded payouts is the next step.