White House meeting with lawmakers on military sexual assault

His comments came on the heels of a new Pentagon report that found the number of estimated sexual assaults had increased by more than a third in 2012 to 26,000.

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Thursday’s meeting includes roughly a dozen lawmakers from both parties and both chambers. Many who were invited are key players in Congress as it is poised to make changes to the military’s judicial code in an attempt to curb the number of assaults.

Among the expected attendees are Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSenators demand Pentagon action after nude photo scandal Chelsea Clinton to be honored by Variety, Lifetime Ten years later, House Dems reunite and look forward MORE (D-N.Y.); Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillTop general: Trump State Dept. cuts would hurt military's efforts against Russia Senators demand Pentagon action after nude photo scandal Senate Dems: We won't help pass additional health bills MORE (D-Mo.); Kay HaganKay HaganLinking repatriation to job creation Former Sen. Kay Hagan in ICU after being rushed to hospital GOP senator floats retiring over gridlock MORE (D-N.C.); Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharLive coverage: Day three of Supreme Court nominee hearing Dems land few punches on Gorsuch Gorsuch: 'Of course women can be president' MORE (D-Minn.); Kelly AyotteKelly AyotteFEC commissioner to Trump: Prove voter fraud Live coverage: Day three of Supreme Court nominee hearing Lewandowski saw no evidence of voter fraud in New Hampshire MORE (R-N.H.); Susan CollinsSusan CollinsFive takeaways from Labor pick’s confirmation hearing ObamaCare repeal faces last obstacle before House vote Live coverage: Day three of Supreme Court nominee hearing MORE (R-Maine) and Deb FischerDeb FischerSenators demand Pentagon action after nude photo scandal GOP rep scolds Gillibrand for tearing into Marine general over nude-photo scandal Senators tear into Marines on nude photo scandal MORE (R-Neb.), and Reps. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.); Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.); Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Mike Turner (R-Ohio), according to congressional aides.

There are several different proposals in Congress to deal with sexual assault, and the measures are expected to be taken up during next month’s markups of the Defense authorization bill.

Defense Secretary Chuck HagelChuck HagelSenators tear into Marines on nude photo scandal Lobbying World Who will temper Trump after he takes office? MORE has also submitted a proposal to Congress, which would strip military commanders of the ability to overturn guilty verdicts in most criminal cases.

Some lawmakers, including Gillibrand, want to go further and remove the prosecution of sexual assault cases from the military’s chain of command.

— Justin Sink contributed.