Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Congress members are able to settle sexual harassment lawsuits with a U.S. Treasury fund instead of from their own funds, the Washington Post reports, as part of the 1995 Congressional Accountability Act.

Why it matters: The Treasury doled out $15.2 million between 1997 and 2014, on 235 workplace violation settlements (the nature of the violations are not specifie d), per WaPo. California Rep. Jackie Speier told the Post: "It is not a victim-friendly process. It is an institution-protection process."

The 1995 law gives victims 180 days to make a complaint following the incident; they are then required to have 30 days of counseling followed by 30 more days of mediation. WaPo reports that "if the problem is still unresolved, the can pursue an OOC administrative hearing or file a federal lawsuit." On the other hand, members only have an ethics program (not harassment prevention) as part of their mandatory training, and only 800 people have taken the harassment-prevention online tutorial since 2015.

Go deeper

6 mins ago - Technology

Facebook Oversight Board begins hearing appeals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Facebook Oversight Board announced Thursday that some Facebook and Instagram users can now submit appeals to the Oversight Board for an independent review of their own content removals.

Why it matters: The board, a first-of-its-kind internet governance body, will begin hearing cases from users ahead of the U.S. election.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

U.S. cities' lagging climate progress

Expand chart
Reproduced from a Brookings Institution report; Chart: Axios Visuals

A just-published Brookings Institution analysis of U.S. cities' pledges to cut carbon emissions reveals very mixed results.

Why it matters: The potential — and limits — of city and state initiatives have gotten more attention amid President Trump's scuttling of Obama-era national policies.

New state unemployment filings fall to 787,000

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

First-time applications for unemployment fell last week, according to Department of Labor data released on Thursday.

Between the lines: The overall number of Americans relying on unemployment also fell to a still-staggering 23 million. But there are continued signs of labor market strain, with more people shifting to an unemployment program designed for the long-term jobless.