Senate passes amendments on sexual violence, mental health in the military

Gillibrand said nearly one-third of those who commit a sex crime in the military remain in military service because branches have different ways of handling the situation.

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“Sexual violence in the military continues to occur at an alarming rate,” Gillibrand said on the floor Wednesday. “If one-third of sex offenders in the military are being retained, then clearly we must move forward.”

Sens. Susan CollinsSusan CollinsSwing-state Republicans play up efforts for gun control laws Reid knocks GOP on gun 'terror loophole' after attacks GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase MORE (R-Maine) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) co-sponsored the amendment.

Sen. Patty MurrayPatty MurrayCongress approves .1B in Zika funds Lawmakers pledge push for cures bill in lame-duck Senate Dems: Add Flint aid to spending deal MORE (D-Wash.) introduced Amendment 3099, which she said improves the mental health and suicide services provided by the Department of Defense.

Murray said the bill sets up a suicide prevention program across the department, provides peer counseling and extends mental health services to the family of service members.

The Senate continues to consider amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act, S. 3254, Wednesday.

—This article was updated at 3:40 p.m.