Rep. Jackie Speier

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) testified in a House committee hearing Tuesday that two current members of Congress are known for sexually harassing staffers.

“In fact, there are two members of Congress, Republican and Democrat, right now, who serve ... who have engaged in sexual harassment,” Speier said.

The California congresswoman continued by highlighting some of the types of sexual harassment that exist in the halls of the legislature:

“These harasser propositions such as 'Are you going to be a good girl?,' to perpetrators exposing their genitals, to victims having their private parts grabbed on the House floor. All they ask in return, as staff members, is to be able to work in a hostile-free work environment. They want the system fixed and the perpetrators held accountable.”

Speier's testimony was part of a Committee on House Administration hearing on sexual harassment in Congress. In October, Rep. Speier shared a video of herself recounting her own personal experience as a victim of sexual harassment in her time as a congressional staffer:

“The chief of staff held my face, kissed me, and stuck his tongue in my mouth,” Speier recalled. “I know what it's like to keep these things hidden deep down inside. I know what it's like to lie awake in bed at night wondering if I was the one who had done something wrong.”

“I know what it's like years later to remember that rush of humiliation and anger,” Speier added. “You know what? Many of us in Congress know what it's like, because Congress has been a breeding ground for a hostile work environment for far too long.”

Since Speier came forward to shed light on her own experience as a victim of sexual harassment in Congress, other current and past members have joined her. Mary Bono, a former Republican member from California, told The Associated Press a current member of Congress once approached her on the House floor to say he had been thinking of her in the shower.

According to the Huffington Post, Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) also came forward at Tuesday's hearing to say she was aware of a current Congressman who exposed himself to a female staffer, leading the staffer to quit her job.

“This member asked a staffer to bring them over some materials to their residence. And a young staffer ― it was a young woman ― went there and was greeted with a member in a towel,“ Comstock said. ”It was a male, who then invited her in. At that point, he decided to expose himself."

“She left, and then she quit her job,” Comstock added.

Watch Speier's comments below.

Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.

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