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The Captiol dome is highlighted by the early morning. Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

One current and three former female lawmakers say they have been harassed or subjected to hostile sexual comments by fellow members of Congress, AP's Erica Werner and Juliet Linderman write.

Why it matters: The accounts, part of a torrent of revelations following the Harvey Weinstein scandal, raise "troubling questions about the boys' club environment in Congress where male lawmakers can feel empowered to target not only staffers but even their own peers ..."

"The incidents ... usually [occurred] when the women were young newcomers to Congress. They range from isolated comments ... to repeated unwanted come-ons, to ... groping on the House floor. ... [T]he revelations underscore that no woman is immune, even at the highest reaches of government."

"The lawmakers declined to identify the perpetrators by name, but at least two of the men continue to serve in the House. None of the female lawmakers interviewed reported what happened, and some noted it was not clear where they would lodge such a complaint."

The cases:

  1. Former Rep. Mary Bono (R-Calif.) endured "increasingly suggestive comments from a fellow lawmaker ... But when the congressman approached her on the House floor and told her he'd been thinking about her in the shower, she ... confronted the man, who she said still serves in Congress, telling him his comments were demeaning and wrong. And he backed off."
  2. Former Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), described "an incident at a hearing in the 1980s where a male colleague made a sexually suggestive comment ... that he ... wanted to 'associate with the gentle lady.' Boxer said the comment was met with general laughter ... She said she later asked that it be removed from the record."
  3. Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.): "When I was a very new member of Congress in my early 30s, there was a [married,] more senior member who outright propositioned me ... She [said] she would warn other new female members about the lawmaker in question ... [H]e remains in Congress."
  4. Sanchez said "that a different male colleague repeatedly ogled her, and at one point touched her inappropriately on the House floor, while trying to make it appear accidental."
  5. Former Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.), now a Los Angeles County supervisor, "recalls repeated unwanted harassing overtures from one lawmaker, though she declined to name him or go into detail."

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Report: Pentagon watchdog finds Ronny Jackson drank on duty and harassed staff

Rep. Ronny Jackson walking through the Canon Tunnel to the U.S. Capitol in January. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) allegedly made "sexual and denigrating" comments about a female staffer, drank alcohol and took sleeping medication while working as White House physician, according to a report obtained by CNN Tuesday night.

Driving the news: The Department of Defense inspector general's report stems from a years-long investigation. Jackson has called the allegations "false and fabricated."

DOJ pressed to enforce Al Jazeera foreign agent ruling

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Justice Department is being pressed to enforce its own demand that the U.S. arm of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera register as a foreign agent.

Why it matters: The launch of Al Jazeera's new right-of-center U.S. media venture, Rightly, has refocused attention on the media company's alleged links to Doha, and DOJ's efforts to crack down on media outlets viewed as foreign interest mouthpieces.

Poll: Immigration is America's most-polarizing issue

Data: The American Aspirations Index/Populace; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Immigration was found to be the most polarizing issue in America based on new polling from Populace.

Why it matters: Americans have surprisingly similar priorities for the U.S., but immigration stands out as one of the few issues with clear partisan differences. It underscores the challenge for advocates and lawmakers hoping to pass immigration reform in the coming weeks amid narrow margins in Congress.