WASHINGTON (AP) — All 22 female senators are bringing public pressure on Senate leaders to debate legislation making it easier for people working in Congress to pursue claims of sexual harassment or discrimination.

The senators write the leaders that “inaction is unacceptable.” They say the Senate can’t let “perpetrators of these crimes” hide behind procedures enacted in 1995.

The House has approved legislation speeding the slow-moving process for harassment complaints. It would also require more public disclosure of settlements and force lawmakers found liable to personally pay any penalties they’re required to make, rather than using taxpayer money.

David Popp is spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. He says he doesn’t know when bipartisan legislation on the issue will be ready. He says McConnell supports forcing lawmakers to personally pay such penalties.

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  1. Sexual harassment is free speech, protected by the 1st amendment.