Democratic Rep. Jackie Speier (Calif.) said on Tuesday that around $15 million in settlements has been paid out by the House of Representatives on behalf of those who have been accused of sexual harassment in the past 10 to 15 years.
MSNBC host Chuck Todd asked about the taxpayer money that has been used to cover up sexual harassment allegations against members of Congress.
"If the taxpayer is involved, don’t we have the right to know?" Todd asked the congresswoman.
"Well, I think you do have the right to know, but right now, under the system, you don’t have the right to know," Speier said.
The "Meet the Press Daily" host asked if anything was going to be done about that to bring out the previous cases.
"I don’t know if we can retroactively deal with it because that’s a contract that has been signed by both parties," Speier said. "I think moving forward we absolutely must. Now we do know that there’s about $15 million that has been paid out by the House on behalf of harassers in the last 10 to 15 years."
Speier said she was unaware of how many members of Congress that entails, but she thinks that moving forward members need to be transparent and held accountable for their actions.
According to The Hill a spokesperson later clarified that figure does not only account for harassment claims. Speier herself said Wednesday it can also include things like racial or disabled discrimination.
UPDATE: Wednesday, 1:44 P.M.: This article was updated to reflect Speier's spokesperson clarifying the congresswoman's figure not solely referring to sexual harassment claims.