TN lawmaker sponsors new bill to eliminate congressional "hush fund"

Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn is co-sponsoring a bill to put an end to the so-called congressional "hush money fund." (image: WTVC)

Putting an end to a system that pays victims of sexual harassment to be quiet. That's the goal for one U.S. lawmaker from Tennessee.

Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburn says members of Congress learned about a so-called "hush-fund," and it had been used by lawmakers. She says it uses tax-payer dollars to settle claims of sexual harassment.

The bill she co-sponsors, introduced by Florida Congressman Ron DeSantis, is called the Congressional Accountability and Hush Fund Elimination Act.

"We will end this process of no one knowing that money is being appropriated in this fund," Blackburn said. "Where will be more transparency on how these tax payer dollars will be used."

If passed, the bill will amend the Congressional Accountability Act, passed in 1995, which is a system of reporting workplace issues. Blackburn says that system's Office of Compliance made way for the birth of the "hush fund."

"If there are members that have used this fund, they need to pay that money back with interest." she said.

Several Tennessee lawmakers are also co-sponsors, including Congressmen Chuck Fleischmann.

Blackburn announced in October she would be a candidate to replace Bob Corker in the Senate.

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