Rep. Peter Welch says the settlement of all sexual harassment cases involving members of Congress should be made public.
Under a law passed in 1995, complaints and financial settlements are kept secret.
Welch says this law should be changed because more than $13 million in taxpayer funds has been paid out.
"Any congressional expenditures from my budget or any other member of Congress’s budget are pretty much open books,” said Welch. “So if there’s a settlement that definitely should be available to the public for inspection."
And Welch thinks this legislation could reduce the incidence of sexual harassment on Capitol Hill in the future.
"That zero tolerance that you’re seeing in the public — I think is going to have an enormous impact on behavior of people who are tempted to abuse their power,” said Welch.
Welch says he supports making the disclosure of settlements retroactive to 1995 unless the victim in the case objected to making the information public.