The “shush fund” of Congress, a fund managed by the “Office of Compliance,” which was created following the 1995 enactment of the Congressional Accountability Act (CAA), is being used to settle cases of sexual harassment against its members and staff.
This is how it works:
……The CAA was a serious attempt to bring Congress under many labor laws from which it had previously exempted itself. In fact, under the CAA, Congress applied 12 different labor laws to itself for the first time, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Federal Service Labor Management Relations Statute, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, among others.
The CAA sought to make changes in how Congress dealt with charges of sexual harassment against its members and staff, too. Prior to enactment of the law, a victim of sexual harassment by a member of Congress had virtually no legal recourse at all. With whom would such a victim lodge a complaint or seek redress?
So the CAA created the “Office of Compliance” to deal with such issues. Complainants begin the dispute resolution process with a mandatory (yes, really) course of counseling that can last up to 30 days. Only after completing the compulsory counseling may a complainant pursue mediation. That, too, can last up to 30 days. If mediation fails to resolve the issue to the complainant’s satisfaction, she or he can then go to an administrative hearing, or file a federal lawsuit.
Here’s the kicker: If the dispute is resolved in favor of the complainant (read: victim), funds for the settlement don’t come out of the offender’s personal bank account, or his or her campaign account. Instead, they come out of a secret account maintained by the Office of Compliance. It is so secret, in fact, that taxpayers don’t even know they are funding it.
According to the Washington Post, there were 235 complainants received compensation totaling $15.2 million between 1997 and 2014. That’s more than one settlement per month for 17 years and nearly $1 million per year. We, the taxpayers, have no idea on whose behalf we’ve been paying to settle these sexual harassment claims.
……We, the taxpayers who have been paying for more than two decades to quietly settle literally hundreds of sexual harassment claims against members of Congress and their staffs, have a right to know which members and staffers have made use of the hush money over the years. Going forward, taxpayers should have knowledge about how that fund is used.
Allegations about candidate Trump involve his out of pocket payment to Stormy Daniels over an alleged affair. This taxpayer subsidized slush fund, which primarily benefits the Dem congressional members, has been in existence for years.
Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. John Conyers Jr., (D-MI) are two of the beneficiaries.
I’d like to see the entire list.
BTW: The Clintons wrote the book on payoffs.