Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement today after new reports were published related to sexual harassment by Members of Congress, including Nevada Representative Ruben Kihuen:
“Sexual harassment in any context is unacceptable. I am frustrated, disappointed, and disgusted by the stories I have learned from women and men who were harassed and disrespected by powerful men in government, entertainment, private business and media. I support a full, fair and expedient investigation against Congressman Kihuen and any other Member of Congress who have women or men come forward with allegations of inappropriate behavior. This process must be open, transparent and have an appropriate investigatory timeline that delivers justice.
“In the days and weeks ahead, I will work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to demand meaningful reform of the Ethics process in Congress. As a Member of the Rules Committee, I review how the Senate conducts business. Some of these rules were written before women even had the right to vote. And many more are designed to protect Members of Congress and prevent survivors from speaking out. It’s unacceptable and I am taking action now to end it.
“The way the United States Senate operates when dealing with these issues must change now. We must hold one another accountable for our conduct before being elected to office and while serving in Congress. We must stop using taxpayer dollars to settle sexual harassment claims. We must create an environment where every woman or man feels empowered to come forward. Together, let’s end the culture of secrecy in Congress around sexual misconduct.
“We must begin this now by ending a toxic culture of predatory sexual behavior. For the good of our country and the generations of young men and women who will serve after us, we must do better.”