Sanford Cosponsors Congressional Accountability and Hush Fund Elimination Act
WASHINGTON, DC - Representative Mark Sanford signed on as an original cosponsor of the Congressional Accountability and Hush Fund Elimination Act yesterday. The bill was introduced by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), and this legislation will bring more transparency to the congressional harassment claims process paid out under the Congressional Accountability Act and prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars to pay future sexual harassment or sexual assault claims. There are currently 29 Republican and 13 Democrat cosponsors.
Rep. Sanford released the following statement:
“The law, as it currently stands, makes no sense. Taxpayer dollars should not be used as a congressional piggy bank to bail out Members of Congress and staff who have committed acts of sexual harassment or assault. That this has been swept under the rug and kept from the public - both the payments and the acts themselves - makes it even more egregious because it marginalizes the victims and acts to excuse the aggressors with little to no consequences.
“This bill seems like an obvious and necessary step in fixing this law, and I’m grateful to join my colleagues in supporting this legislation.”
The Congressional Accountability and Hush Fund Elimination Act will:
- Require disclosure within 30 calendar days of all settlement payments funded by taxpayers, the reason for the payment and the nature of the allegation, and the member of Congress or congressional staffer implicated in the matter.
- Prohibit the future use of taxpayer dollars to pay sexual harassment and sexual assault claims against members of Congress and staff.
- Prohibit members of Congress from using office budgets to camouflage payments.
- Require members of Congress and staff that have ever been named in a sexual harassment or sexual assault settlement paid for by taxpayers to reimburse the U.S. Treasury with interest.
- Any individual who received an award may make public statements about the claims notwithstanding the terms of a nondisclosure agreement, and nondisclosure agreements cannot be made a condition of any future settlements.