Senate negotiators nearing sexual harassment legislation deal

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

Posted: May 16, 2018 5:12 AM
Updated: May 16, 2018 5:12 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."

Huntsville
Scattered Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 69°
Florence
Overcast
69° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 69°
Fayetteville
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 66°
Decatur
Overcast
69° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 69°
Scottsboro
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 68°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 159439

Reported Deaths: 2699
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23443377
Mobile16934315
Tuscaloosa10414140
Montgomery10298197
Madison939496
Shelby743663
Baldwin669469
Lee655065
Calhoun462161
Marshall441150
Etowah431251
Morgan418235
Houston418034
DeKalb346129
Elmore322753
St. Clair299942
Limestone289330
Walker282392
Talladega267435
Cullman250824
Lauderdale231342
Jackson217515
Autauga207431
Franklin206131
Colbert204132
Russell19533
Blount194225
Chilton189332
Dallas187227
Coffee179511
Dale177251
Covington175529
Escambia173030
Clarke135317
Chambers135244
Pike134413
Tallapoosa133087
Marion109729
Barbour10339
Marengo102522
Butler101340
Winston93713
Geneva9167
Lawrence86132
Pickens86018
Bibb84314
Randolph82916
Hale77730
Clay74912
Washington74912
Cherokee74514
Henry7196
Lowndes71428
Bullock64917
Monroe64810
Crenshaw60930
Perry5936
Fayette58413
Cleburne5738
Wilcox57012
Conecuh56113
Macon53720
Lamar5065
Sumter47321
Choctaw39212
Greene34616
Coosa2053
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 249866

Reported Deaths: 3163
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby36685565
Davidson31975343
Knox1284891
Rutherford12017115
Hamilton11867109
Williamson718756
Sumner6184112
Wilson473159
Putnam445657
Montgomery424057
Out of TN415136
Sullivan381946
Madison381479
Bradley361923
Washington356951
Maury338938
Blount337436
Sevier336423
Robertson262842
Hamblen247548
Tipton238123
Unassigned22615
Dyer224732
Gibson217244
Coffee192325
Hardeman190533
Greene181252
Obion179522
Trousdale17768
Bedford174520
Dickson170719
Fayette169825
Anderson169713
McMinn165937
Lawrence164520
Loudon164311
Cumberland161327
Wayne16047
Carter158334
Weakley157326
Jefferson156421
Monroe147228
Warren144910
Lauderdale144117
Henderson142126
Hardin140420
Macon134825
Roane13217
Franklin130220
Haywood129728
Overton122917
Hawkins122625
White119414
Johnson11577
Marshall115710
Carroll115326
McNairy113427
Rhea112418
Cocke108014
Cheatham106911
Campbell103512
Bledsoe10264
Smith99413
Lake9873
Giles98336
Fentress91811
Lincoln9173
Crockett87020
Hickman81015
Henry80211
Marion7839
DeKalb73717
Chester73314
Decatur66311
Grainger6124
Grundy57511
Union5463
Claiborne5286
Polk51713
Humphreys4584
Jackson4535
Morgan4437
Unicoi4333
Houston42317
Benton4219
Cannon4212
Lewis4185
Clay40615
Scott3865
Sequatchie3472
Stewart33611
Meigs3296
Perry3082
Pickett2748
Moore2722
Van Buren2081
Hancock1213

Community Events