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Rep. Ron DeSantis to Introduce Bill Banning Lawmakers from Settling Sexual Harassment Claims with Taxpayer Funds

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Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) announced Wednesday he was working on legislation to end the practice of lawmakers using taxpayer dollars to settle sexual harassment claims, and to unseal those settlement records.

“I’m working on legislation to unseal settlement records, bar use of tax dollars to pay claims against members & staff, prohibit members from using office budgets to camouflage payments (a Conyers rule) & require reimbursement of the taxpayer,” DeSantis tweeted on Wednesday.

On Monday, Buzzfeed reported that Rep. John Conyers’ (D-MI) office had paid an accuser $27,000 to settle a complaint that she had been fired after refusing his sexual advances.

The settlement, using taxpayer funds, was reached outside of the formal reporting mechanism for sexual harassment claims. Last week, Rep. Jackie Speier testified that Congress had paid out more than $15 million over the last decade to settle such complaints.

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