Bipartisan group calls for more provisions to protect military sexual assault survivors before NDAA vote

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) says the military justice reforms in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act don’t go far enough.

“This bill does not reform the military justice system in a way that will truly help survivors get justice,” Gillibrand said.

Gillibrand now plans on calling for a direct vote on her Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act.

“Every victim and accused offender in these serious cases should be treated equally and have access to a system that is both professional and unbiased,” Gillibrand said.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) agree more needs to be done.

“The decision-makers on the defense bill, still on this subject, don’t want to go far enough to bring the justice, that sexual assault victims deserve,” Grassley said.

“I am disappointed that we did not get every aspect of our bill included,” Ernst said.

Gillibrand says her bipartisan bill increases the list of the crimes that will be dealt with outside of the chain of command from 11 to 38.

“Military commanders, I think will ask for a better system and we’re gonna give it to them,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said.

Blumenthal says the priority is to make sure the military is well served and agrees with his colleagues that a standalone vote is necessary.

“We have the support of over 65 senators, a veto-proof majority,” Ernst said.

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