The House Paid Out $115,000 in Sexual Harassment Settlements Over Four Years

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Between 2008 and 2012, the House of Representatives paid out over $342,000 in taxpayer funds to settle discrimination and harassment claims against its members, according to data released Tuesday by the House Administration Committee.

That sum covered 15 settlements against House members' offices, including payouts for three sexual harassment settlements totaling $115,000. Earlier this month, the committee released data showing that, between 2013 and 2017, the House paid out roughly $360,000 for six suits, including one $84,000 settlement for sexual harassment. Neither release specified which members the claims were against.

The data was compiled by the Office of Compliance, which is tasked with handling workplace disputes for Congress, and was provided to the House Administration Committee as part of its investigation into sexual harassment on Capitol Hill. Multiple members of Congress, including Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) and Representative Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), announced that they would resign or not seek re-election following allegations of harassment.

"As I have stated from the beginning of this review, one case of sexual harassment is one case too many," Gregg Harper (R-Mississippi), chairman of the House Administration Committee, said in a statement. "We must create a culture within our Capitol Hill community that instills in every employee and employer, new and old, that there is no place for sexual harassment in the halls of Congress."

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