Senate negotiators nearing sexual harassment legislation deal

With impatience growing on Capitol Hill from some members of Congress, Senate negotiators ...

Posted: May 16, 2018 3:12 AM
Updated: May 16, 2018 3:12 AM

With impatience growing on Capitol Hill from some members of Congress, Senate negotiators working on sexual harassment legislation are nearing a finalized product with the hopes of getting agreement this week and legislation out in the Senate before the Memorial Day recess, two congressional sources with knowledge of the discussions tell CNN,

Both the Democratic and Republican negotiators, Sens. Roy Blunt and Amy Klobuchar -- the chair and top Democratic member on the Rules committee respectively -- expressed confidence publicly Tuesday that they would be able to meet this new timeframe for the legislation that would overhaul how sexual harassment complaints are made and handled on Capitol Hill.

"I think we're coming to a conclusion here, and hopefully we'll reach that conclusion very quickly," said Blunt, a Missouri Republican.

"We are very close," Klobuchar told CNN, "We hope to get an agreement this week."

RELATED: Democratic male senators push to advance sexual harassment legislation

Blunt and Klobuchar will meet face-to-face with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer this week to talk about the legislation -- an important moment where the negotiators are hoping to present their final agreement on the legislative language, and - most importantly - get the two Senate leaders' stamp of approval.

As of Tuesday afternoon, though, final language had still not been finalized even while the negotiators both said they are very close.

The legislation would reform the Congressional Accountability Act, which set up the process for handling sexual harassment complaints on Capitol Hill and would hold lawmakers personally liable for paying settlements.

At issue still is mainly the nuances over the personal liability aspect of the legislation as it was written and passed by the House of Representatives, which would hold lawmakers personally responsible for paying any settlement themselves, rather than allowing them to use taxpayers' money out of a little-known account of the US Treasury.

Blunt says he and Klobuchar are "largely" in agreement over the language of the legislation but added, "we are not the two that ultimately get to agree," a nod that Senate leaders will still have to bless the deal.

"(McConnell) really wants to get this done, as does Sen. Schumer, and we think that everything is aligning," Klobuchar said Tuesday.

After sign off from Senate leaders, the senators would take the legislation back to their respective caucuses to get their approval, with the goal of having a vote either before Memorial Day recess, though Klobuchar said Tuesday the vote could potentially slide into the next session after recess.

Thursday will mark 100 days since the House of Representatives passed their version of the legislation in February.

In the three months since the legislation has been in the Senate's hands, there have been a series of setbacks and stalled momentum, leading some senators to grow impatient with the pace of negotiations.

New York Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has taken to Twitter every day for the last eight days to note how long it's been since the House has acted and the Senate has not.

"It has been 98 days since the House unanimously passed a bill to address sexual harassment in Congress," the New York senator tweeted Tuesday. "The Senate still hasn't taken action."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313161

Reported Deaths: 3594
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah51245642
Washington34995276
Marion32577393
Clackamas26570271
Lane23989246
Jackson20977257
Deschutes16623102
Umatilla12602125
Douglas10712188
Linn1046886
Josephine8659165
Yamhill744999
Klamath643491
Polk623570
Malheur479467
Benton461927
Coos412069
Columbia324237
Jefferson313746
Lincoln276330
Union272737
Wasco239039
Crook212338
Clatsop211725
Tillamook181523
Baker174421
Morrow167921
Curry166817
Hood River163035
Harney78916
Grant7558
Lake6768
Wallowa50811
Gilliam1374
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4644566

Reported Deaths: 68019
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144512125852
Riverside3579884804
San Diego3495814009
San Bernardino3472035506
Orange3146225354
Sacramento1503072089
Santa Clara1405641841
Fresno1358611888
Kern1358421515
Alameda1162141329
Ventura976901120
San Joaquin973871615
Contra Costa95727924
Stanislaus806991234
Tulare72969896
San Mateo52239607
San Francisco51907605
Monterey49465565
Solano44151312
Santa Barbara43112500
Sonoma39441378
Merced39370535
Placer36487364
Imperial34261755
Kings30124284
San Luis Obispo28300313
Madera21707258
Butte21307230
Shasta20683276
Santa Cruz20151211
Yolo19143239
Marin17106242
El Dorado16004127
Sutter13094153
Napa1226895
Yuba926061
Nevada847685
Humboldt829587
Tehama823784
San Benito709067
Mendocino685575
Lassen637627
Tuolumne615393
Lake603687
Amador492259
Glenn398030
Siskiyou389541
Calaveras342266
Del Norte336034
Colusa290918
Inyo166539
Mono14935
Plumas12406
Mariposa99712
Trinity72010
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1650
Alpine1000
Out of CA00
Medford
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 84°
Brookings
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 74°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
87° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 84°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
87° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 84°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 73°
Cooler temperatures and thin haze return on the first day of fall
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events