GOP Refuses To Release Congressional Sexual Harassment Records

Senate Appropriations Committee chairman, Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss.Screengrab/Wochit News/YouTube

One committee chair said they're trying to get "clarity" on the information. Another is concerned with confidentiality.

Unlike their counterparts in the House, the Republican chairmen of two Senate committees are withholding data pertaining to a breakdown of sexual harassment settlements over the years. The House has released ten years worth of its data.

The Appropriations Committee chairman, Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., requested the information from the Office of Compliance, his spokesman Stephen Worley confirmed. Cochran has not shared it with the all of his committee members yet, and Worley said they are trying to get "clarity" from the OOC on the information.

The chairman of the Rules Committee, Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., who also received the data from the Office of Compliance, said through a spokeswoman that he won’t release the information as of now, pointing to confidentiality requirements.

Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) has also called for the data to be publicly released, though he holds no sway over the decision, and neither Senate committee is required to publish the information.

The oversight process in the House and Senate is different. The House Administration Committee approves each settlement without knowing the name of the accused or the accuser while no specific body overseas the taxpayer payments.

In the Senate, the individual who is accused must sign off and has no obligation to report it to any committee. Both the Rules and Appropriations committees are sent all disbursements from the OOC twice a year but the information is not broken down by the number of payments or what type of harassment.