U.S. Rep. Jason Crow was among the representatives on Friday to propose denying members of Congress their annual retirement payments if convicted for sexual misconduct.
“As a soldier I learned that leadership starts with the example you set. I have long believed that members of Congress must be held to the same standard as our men and women in uniform,” said Crow. “However current law gives a pass to those in Congress. Sexual abuse is a crime and we must ensure it is treated like one and hold those in power accountable for their actions.”
Crow’s office indicated that the inspiration for the bill was the system in the U.S. military, in which a service member who is convicted of sexual misconduct and receives a dishonorable discharge loses retirement pay.
The Prohibiting Annuities for Sexual Abusers in Congress Act would treat sexual abuse the same as other felony convictions for pension eligibility.
The legislation comes after an inspector general’s investigation at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs found U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, reportedly tried to discredit the allegations of a military sexual assault victim to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie.
Several veterans organizations called for an ethics investigation into Crenshaw, a U.S. Navy veteran. Those include Minority Veterans of America, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Modern Military Veterans of America and Vote Vets.