Pelosi Floor Remarks Ahead of Vote on Me Too Congress Act

Feb 6, 2018
Press Release

Contact: Ashley Etienne/Henry Connelly, 202-226-7616

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks on the Floor of U.S. House of Representatives in support of the Me Too Congress Act, which passed by voice vote.  Below are the Leader’s remarks: 

Leader Pelosi.  Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  I thank the gentleman for yielding and I thank him and Mr. [Gregg] Harper for leadership in bringing this legislation to the Floor.  

Congratulations to the House Administration Committee.  I commend Congresswoman [Susan] Brooks and Congressman [Ted] Deutch, their works on the Ethics Committee in this regard.  Mr. [Jamie] Raskin, thank you as well.  

Of course, I want to thank Congresswoman Jackie Speier of California who has made this part of her life's work in officialdom, her public service in the California legislature and here.  

Today, this – the fruit of your labor, Madam Congresswoman, comes to fruition.  Your strong leadership will ensure no survivor of discrimination or harassment will face the injustice of having his or her voice silenced.  

The Me Too Congress Act is our promise in a bipartisan way to hold every person accountable to the rule of absolutely zero tolerance.  No matter someone's contribution to our country – harassment and discrimination are always unacceptable.  

With this bill we're shining a blazing light on workplace abuse which has been allowed to fester in the shadows for too long.  We're securing protection for all employees by streamlining and strengthening the resolution and reporting process.  We're holding Members personally responsible for settlements and are guaranteeing taxpayer money will never again be used to create culture of complicity and silence around workplace harassment.  

This bill is bipartisan because the fight against workplace harassment and discrimination transcends party or politics.  This legislation is about protecting the personal safety of every person who comes to Congress to serve.  Either as a Member or in the workforce.  This is about upholding human dignity and the unalienable right to live free from abuse.  

Our nation is at a watershed moment in the fight against sexual harassment and discrimination.  Brave men and women from Hollywood to Washington to Sacramento, I might add, where my daughter's been involved in this campaign; from the boardroom, to the newsroom, in the hotels, restaurants, workplaces, every corner of the country, people are standing up to say: “Time's Up.” 

But the Me Too movement, they really have made quite a difference.  Their voices are correcting the culture around harassment and abuse.  

But more needs to be done.  The Congress must continue to work with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and others to forge a path forward to improve protections for all American workplaces.

That's why I’m so pleased to bring this bill to the Floor.  Over recent time Members of Congress listened to survivors and advocates, learned from public and private sector experts, and received constructive recommendations from many Members. 

We will not rest until every person in every workplace has full safeguards against harassment and abuse and discrimination.  This is a time for shaking off the status quo, not for bowing to inaction and incrementalism. 

Members of Congress are trustees of the people.  We have a solemn responsibility to do well by the people: both the people who sent us to Washington and those who serve by our sides here.  Our values and our humanity compel us to take action and to finish this fight so that every woman, man and child can live free from the fear of abuse. 

Again, I thank you, Mr. [Bob] Brady, for your leadership on this issue and for yielding.  Thank you, Mr. [Gregg] Harper, as well.  Yield back.  

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