Congressional Actions: Sexual Harassment & Gender Discrimination at Agriculture Department; Considering the 21st Cent.Cures Act
On December 1, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing entitled Examining Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The purpose of the hearing was to address ongoing misconduct, sexual harassment, and gender discrimination in the U.S. Forest Service and examine the USDA’s management of its Civil Rights Office and its handling of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) claims.
The hearing is in response to widespread media coverage and reporting of sexual harassment of female employees at the Forest Service. One of the witnesses, Ms. Denise Rice, testified in her capacity as a whistleblower about her own experience of sexual assault, reporting, and retaliation. https://oversight.house.gov/hearing/examining-sexual-harassment-gender-discrimination-u-s-department-agriculture/
The following witnesses testified:
- The Honorable Joe Leonard, Jr., assistant secretary for Civil Rights, Department of Agriculture;
- Ms. Lenise Lago, deputy chief of business operations, Forest Service, Department of Agriculture;
- Ms. Lesa Donnelly, vice president of the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees/Federal Employee Advocate, former Forest Service employee; and
- Ms. Denise Rice, fire prevention technician, Region 5 Eldorado National Forest, Forest Service, Department of Agriculture
Health- On Monday, the Senate is scheduled to consider H.R. 34, the 21st Century Cures Act.
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International- On Monday, the House is scheduled to consider S. 1635, the Department of State Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act.
Later in the week, the Senate is scheduled to consider S. 2943, the FY2017 National Defense Authorization Act. The House also is scheduled to consider a continuing resolution to fund the government through the beginning of next year.
Education- On Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will begin consideration of several bills, including H.R. 4481, the Education for All Act.
H.R. 4481: Education for All Act of 2016. To amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 to provide assistance for developing countries to promote quality basic education and to establish the goal of all children in school and learning as an objective of the United States foreign assistance policy, and for other purposes.Feb 4, 2016
S. 3489—Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)/Judiciary (12/1/16)—A bill to prohibit a court from awarding damages based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or actual or perceived sexual orientation, and for other purposes.
H.R. 6417—Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA)/Judiciary (12/1/16)—A bill to prohibit a court from awarding damages based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or actual or perceived sexual orientation, and for other purposes.
H.R. 6398—Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY)/Small Business (11/29/16)—A bill to provide for the inclusion of unmarried women in the criteria for awarding a grant to a women’s business center.
Courtesy of Women's Policy Inc with some link additions
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