As #MeToo legislation stalls, GOP senator asks, 'Do we really need legislation to get senators to do the right thing?'
#MeToo legislation has apparently stalled in the Senate, where lawmakers are not expressing an urgency to change Congress' standing sexual harassment policies, McClatchy DC reports. "Do we really need legislation to get senators to do the right thing?" asked Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who chairs the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. "I would say you probably don't."
Former Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) resigned late last year after facing credible accusations of harassing and groping women. A number of other sitting congressmen and staff, including most recently Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa.), have announced retirement or resigned as allegations surfaced.
While Johnson said he doesn't feel "a burning desire" to personally take action to change the standing harassment procedures, there has been movement in the House, where a bill is expected to pass this week that would "hold members personally responsible" and "[increase] transparency." Last November, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) introduced two bills that would address how Congress handles harassment allegations, although Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) seemed doubtful the legislation could pass.
"Finding the floor time to do things is so difficult," he said, even as he works with a bipartisan group to consider changing the rules. "So we'll see."