Tax bill bars deducting payouts to sexual misconduct victims

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The final version of the Republican tax bill would bar Americans from deducting confidential settlements made with victims of sexual misconduct from their federal taxes.

The provision, originally in the Senate version of the bill, applies to sexual harassment and abuse settlements that include a non-disclosure agreement.

Such language reflects a change on Capitol Hill amid a wave of allegations of sexual misconduct against high-level staffers and, most recently, members of Congress themselves. Present tax law doesn’t include specific rules for sexual misconduct settlements.

In the past month, six lawmakers have retired or pledged not to run for re-election amid accusations. Legislation has been introduced to make the process of filing harassment claims on Capitol Hill more transparent, including a bill that would eliminate mandatory confidentiality clauses.