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Taxpayers Are Footing The Bill For Congressional Settlements

Outside of Congress, taxpayers may also be footing the bill for businesses' sexual harassment-related settlements.
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Taxpayers Are Footing The Bill For Congressional Settlements

According to data from the Office of Compliance, more than $17 million has gone to congressional settlements since 1997.

And that money is coming out of taxpayer wallets.

The settlements aren't broken down by specific claims or statutes, and "a large portion" of the cases originated outside of the House and Senate.

This means it's not clear how many of the settlements were sexual harassment-related, but the Office of Compliance said in 2016 that sexual harassment and discrimination claims under the Congressional Accountability Act cost an average of $53,000 per claim. 

Outside of Congress, taxpayers may also be footing the bill for sexual harassment settlements paid by businesses. That's because the current U.S. tax code doesn't explicitly prohibit the deduction of sexual harassment-related settlements as business expenses.

That could soon change. Earlier this week, Republican Rep. Ken Buck proposed prohibiting tax subsidies for legal expenses related to sexual misconduct.