Summary: Today at a press conference with Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan discussed House efforts to confront and eradicate sexual harassment in Congress. He also touched on the House's agenda of another busy week working toward historic tax reform.

Opening Statement:

Sexual Harassment

“I want to thank Rep. Gregg Harper, and I want to thank your committee, for taking the lead on this very serious issue of sexual harassment.

“Sexual harassment has no place in any workplace—let alone in the United States Congress. Whether it’s as a former staffer or now as a member, walking into this Capitol building, I cannot tell you how each and every day I just feel the honor, the opportunity, and the privilege it is to work in such a place. That’s how so many people feel.

“But the fact that some people walking these halls are subjected to a threatening or hostile work environment, when they came here to serve their country—to serve their ideals? That’s wrong. That’s a disgrace.

“We cannot, and we will not, tolerate that kind of behavior. That’s why Rep. Barbara Comstock’s legislation we’re doing this week is important. It requires lawmakers, staff, and interns to complete mandatory training in workplace rights and responsibilities each session of each Congress.

“This is an important first step as we deal with this problem. I also want to highlight the fact that Chairman Harper’s committee is going to be doing a hearing next week on the settlements issue. We are taking the issue of sexual harassment very seriously. We’re going to continue to do that. But we need to have a comprehensive review of all of these things so that we can have a comprehensive response.

House Agenda

“Also, it’s a big week for tax reform. I want the American people to realize we’re sitting here focusing on making this place work right, on making people proud of this institution, and serving and solving their problems. That is why tax reform’s so important. The House—we’re very pleased with the fact we passed tax reform before Thanksgiving. The Senate is now considering their legislation this week. It’s a historic opportunity.

“This is a tax cut for the typical family at every single income level. This means more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks for more Americans. If the Senate passes [it] this week, as the leader said, we will go to conference. We will resolve these differences in conference, and then we will have our members vote on that final package.

“I cannot underline this point enough: Tax reform will help Americans in every district and state across this country. It is rare to be able to pass legislation that changes the lives of so many Americans in such a meaningful way.

“And that’s why this is so important and I encourage the Senate to come together, do the right thing for the American people, and pass tax reform.”