Sexual harassment reform bill passes both houses of Congress

By Grace Segers

/ CBS News

Border wall fight threatens gov't shutdown

The Senate and the House of Representatives have passed bills reforming congressional sexual harassment policies on Thursday, after reaching a compromise on reform legislation Wednesday.

Under the compromise legislation, members — current and former — would be held financially responsible for any harassment or retaliation claims that are settled. Lawmakers would not be held personally responsible for discrimination claims, according to congressional aides.

The bill was passed by unanimous consent in the Senate on Thursday morning. The House voted on the bill shortly thereafter, approving it by unanimous consent.

"The process we have will now protect victims of harassment instead of protecting politicians," Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said on the Senate floor.

Earlier this year, the House and Senate passed separate bills to address changes in sexual harassment policies in Congress. One of the chief differences in the two versions of the legislation was over whether members should be held personally financially responsible for any harassment or discrimination settlements. Previously, such settlements were paid with taxpayer funds. The House version of the legislation held members personally responsible, while the Senate version did not.

The legislation is now headed to President Trump's desk to be signed.

Bo Erickson, Alan He, Rebecca Kaplan, and Ed O'Keefe contributed reporting.

First published on December 13, 2018

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Grace Segers

Grace Segers is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.