It's been nearly a year since the #MeToo movement began, with the impact being felt from Hollywood to the halls of Congress. But despite promises, the House and Senate still haven’t finalized a new sexual harassment bill that protects workers on the Hill from harassment by members of Congress.
More than a half a dozen members of Congress from both parties have resigned in the past year because of allegations of inappropriate behavior in wake of the #MeToo movement.
“I had an experience with sexual harassment when I was an 18-year-old intern on the Hill,” says Ally Coll Steele.
Steele says a former senator inappropriately grabbed her while she worked in Congress.
Six other women have shared their stories about other members of Congress, and all of them recently wrote a letter to leaders of the House and Senate, demanding they finalize a law that protects workers on the Hill from harassment, including from lawmakers.
“All of us have heard from many other people who have experienced misconduct on the Hill since we came forward with our stories,” Steele says. “So, I know this is still a problem for many people.”
Earlier this year, both the House and Senate passed bills that provide stronger protections against harassment, but they haven’t managed to hammer out a final compromise bill.
“Every day that there's not final legislation, it does send a message to the people who are currently working on the Hill and who are affected by the status quo that this is not a priority,” Steele says.
Lawmakers insist they're still negotiating, but if they don't pass a bill before the new Congress, a final bill could get delayed even further.