By Ainsley Holyfield, Office of U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H. Res. 630 to require each member, officer and employee of the House of Representatives to complete a program of training in workplace rights and responsibilities each session of each Congress to help combat sexual harassment and provide a clear path forward for victims. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-Benton) voted in favor of this legislation.
In addition, Johnson cosponsored two pieces of legislation, the Congressional Accountability and Hush Fund Elimination Act and the Settlement Tax Deductions are Over for Predators Act (STOP Act) to further combat sexual harassment and assaults. The first bill seeks to tackle the problem on the Hill, empower survivors and eliminate the congressional hush fund that is currently being used to settle such claims with taxpayer money. The STOP Act addresses systemic patterns of abuse that cover up sexual harassment by preventing businesses from deducting settlement payments related to sexual assault or sexual harassment, or associated legal fees, as a business expense on their federal taxes.
“There is absolutely no place for sexual harassment in the workplace or anywhere,” said Johnson, a member of First Baptist Church in Bossier City. “And when it does take place, victims should feel protected and empowered by the institutions they work for to come forward and seek justice without fear of retribution. Using taxpayer dollars to hide such claims does nothing but protect the wrongdoer. It is shameful, and it must be stopped. I will continue to seek solutions that empower those who have fallen victim to sexual harassment and promote initiatives that combat this behavior.”