Senate passes resolution requiring mandatory harassment training

The Senate on Thursday approved a bipartisan resolution requiring mandatory harassment training for all senators, officers, employers and interns in the upper chamber. 

The resolution passed by unanimous consent. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, introduced the proposal, which was co-sponsored by a handful of other Republicans and Democrats. The training would need to be competed within 60 days of the resolution's passage, and each Senate office would have to submit a certification of completed training for publishing on the Secretary of the Senate's website. 

The House and Senate already offer sexual harassment training, but it's optional. The House Administration Committee will hold a hearing to review the House's sexual harassment training and reporting policies next week. 

The proposal passed the same day the Washington Post published a story alleging Roy Moore, the Republican candidate in next month's special Senate election, sexually touched a 14-year-old girl when he was 32, and had interactions with other teen girls when he was in his 30s. Moore's campaign has dismissed the allegations as "garbage," but a number of Senate Republicans have said Moore should step down if the allegations are true. 

The resolution comes amid growing calls for reform of sexual harassment policies on Capitol Hill, stemming from heightened attention to sexual harassment from the Harvey Weinstein scandal and sexual misconduct allegations against other well-known icons. 

"Making harassment training mandatory in the Senate sends a clear message: harassment of any kind is not and will not be tolerated in Congress. Period," Klobuchar said in a statement."Sexual and workplace harassment is a widespread problem that affects too many women and men in too many places, professions, and industries. Everyone deserves to feel safe and comfortable at work, and the passage of this official Senate policy is an important measure to ensure that's the case in these halls."

Grassley called the training "critical."

"By passing this resolution, we take a step to ensure that all who work for the Senate are able to do their job without feeling unsafe or uncomfortable. No place of work is immune to the all-too-prevalent scourge of sexual harassment, but we in Congress have a particular duty to set high standards of conduct," Grassley said in a statement. "In the wake of so many scandals and reports of sexual harassment around the country, it's critical that we continue do everything we can to prevent it."

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.