Overhaul to address military sexual assaults risks being nixed from defense bill

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WASHINGTON — Efforts to implement the most comprehensive overhaul of the military justice system in decades could be cut short by a defense bill aimed at tackling sexual assault as Congress scrambles to scrap the law before the end of the year.

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Should the National Defense Bill pass, the massive legislation that sets defense policy for the year known as the NDAA has stalled in the Senate and House and Senate negotiators are working behind the scenes to reach an agreement. .

Danger of Being Nixed is co-authored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D.N.Y., and Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, which will transform the military justice system by taking on other serious crimes such as sexual assault and murder. The attacks escalated from the chain of command to be investigated by independent prosecutors.

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Gillibrand and 65 members of the House and Senate in a letter urged Senate and House Armed Services Committee chairmen — Democrat Representatives Adam Smith and Sen. Jack Reed — and top Republicans — Representatives Mike Rogers and Sen. Measures in the final bill.

The top two senators on the Senate Armed Services Committee, Reid and Inhofe, are opposing the measure, and the Pentagon does not fully support it.

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“The only way the NDAA won’t become law is for a handful of powerful people to rip it off behind closed doors to serve our active duty service members,” Gillibrand said in a statement to Granthshala News. “This speaker is supported by Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer, as well as by nearly every major veterans service organization in America.”

Gillibrand: Victims do not report military sexual assault because of chain of command

12 June 201300:21

The Senate is attempting to pass the NDAA, but after Republicans blocked the measure this week, demanding more votes on the amendments and preventing Democrats from pursuing their unrelated $1.7 trillion Build Back Better plan, the Senate After trying to gamble it is stopped.

“The Republican leadership has decided that apparently they don’t want to go to the NDAA at all, and I think that’s part of an effort to slow everything down. From what I get, I’ve seen that before, but I’ve never seen it done with a defense bill, so I’m very upset by it,” Sen. Tim Kaine, D-VA, one of the signatories to the letter, said.

The proposal to overhaul the military justice system, which has 66 co-sponsors in the Senate as a standalone bill and more than 150 in the House, has taken years to build and has the most support since being accepted by the Pentagon this year. Has received. Persecution in the military has not diminished.

“Sexual assault in the military is a serious concern and demands a genuine solution, not a watered-down provision slipped in the final bill behind closed doors. Maintaining the full provision will ensure that members of the community have access to this provision.” The will of the strong majority is respected. This provision is the only reform that would provide true independence for prosecutors in the military justice system and is necessary to ensure that victims, accused and the public all have full confidence and trust in the military justice process. Have faith,” 44 senators and 22 House members wrote in the letter.

The law is an attempt to tackle the ongoing increase in sexual harassment complaints in the military in recent years. More than 20,000 service members said they sexually assaulted In the army in 2018, according to the Department of Defense survey.



Credit: www.nbcnews.com /

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