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axpayers would no longer foot the bill for sexual harassment settlements involving members of Congress under new bipartisan legislation released Thursday. Coming in the wake of the #MeToo movement, the bill would require members to pay such settlements themselves as part of an effort to overhaul a byzantine, secretive system that has been in place on Capitol Hill for decades.

The legislation, known as the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 Reform Act, is the culmination of nearly three months of work by members of both parties and comes after months of revelations of sexual harassment allegations that has led to the resignation or retirement of half a dozen members of Congress.

The bill gives victims more rights and resources when they file a sexual harassment complaint, simplifies the process and seeks to provide more public transparency.

Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss., head of the House Administration Committee, who helped write the legislation with Rep. Bob Brady, D-Pa., told NBC News in an interview shortly before the bill was released that it “goes a long way toward preventing future bad behavior.”

“What we want to do is create — and I think we’re seeing it already — a sea change in the culture in the members and the staff,” Harper said.

In a statement Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan applauded the legislation, which is expected to have widespread support and pass easily.

House unveils landmark sexual harassment overhaul bill

The legislation is an attempt to overhaul a draconian and secretive system that has helped silence victims and favored the accused.


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