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House Votes for Sexual Harassment Training...for House Members

"Illegal and unacceptable in the private sector, and it is illegal and unacceptable here."

A purple-blue tint covers the dome of the state Capitol in Jackson, Miss., Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in observance of World Autism Day. The Capitol and the Governor's Mansion were lit with blue lights, part of the "Light it Up Blue” program. The lighting effort is funded by private sponsorship and weather permitting, the Mansion and the Capitol will also be lighted from 7 p.m. on April 3 until 12 a.m. on April 4. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis\n

The House voted Thursday to require all members and their staffs to undergo sexual harassment training.

Members approved the transfer of $500,000 within the 2015 legislative branch appropriations bill to fund sexual harassment training. The amendment, from Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), was approved in an easy voice vote, after both parties said they supported it.

House members and staff will have to undergo sexual harassment training under language the House approved Thursday. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Speier’s amendment was offered just weeks after a video surfaced showing Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) kissing one of his staffers. Soon after, an angry Speier took to the House floor to say members need to conduct themselves more appropriately.

“This is not a frat house,” she said.

But Thursday, Speier stressed that the bill is not aimed at any one party. She noted that former Rep. Bob Filner (D-Calif.), the Democratic mayor of San Diego who resigned last year over sexual harassment charges, was thought to have engaged in similar behavior while a member of the House.

“When Mr. Filner was ranking member on the Veterans Affairs Committee in the House, he allegedly sexually harassed several female members of the Armed Forces who were rape survivors,” Speier said.

Speier said it is “unacceptable” that some members have “sexted” members of their staff while working in Congress, and engaged in other inappropriate behavior.

“It’s unacceptable that others have groped and inappropriately touched their staff members. This behavior is illegal and unacceptable in the private sector, and it is illegal and unacceptable here.”

One last thing…
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