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 Elizabeth GillibrandAfter Texas shooting, lawmakers question whether military has systemic reporting problem Senators push mandatory sexual harassment training for members, staff CNN to air sexual harassment Town Hall featuring Gretchen Carlson, Anita Hill MORE (D-N.Y.); Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillDemocratic Homeland Security members request additional DHS nominee testimony Senate panel delays vote on Trump’s Homeland Security pick Steve Israel: ‘We had a better time at the DMZ than we’re going to have tonight’ MORE (D-Mo.); Kay HaganKay HaganDemocrats can win North Carolina just like Jimmy Carter did in 1976 North Carolina will be a big battleground state in 2020 Linking repatriation to job creation MORE (D-N.C.); Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharReported pressure on CNN in Time Warner merger raises retaliation fears Dem sens demand answers over reports DOJ wanted CNN sold Ted Cruz, Debbie Dingell help Chuck Todd celebrate 70 years of 'Meet the Press' MORE (D-Minn.); Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteTrump voter fraud panel member fights back against critics Dems plan to make gun control an issue in Nevada Stale, misguided, divisive: minimum wage can't win elections MORE (R-N.H.); Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsBipartisan group of lawmakers aim to reform US sugar program A bipartisan bridge opens between the House and Senate Gaming the odds of any GOP tax bill getting signed into law MORE (R-Maine) and Deb FischerDebra (Deb) Strobel FischerDissent is democratic: Stop calling McCain, Corker, Flake RINOs GOP senators fear bill will be cast as gift to rich GOP plans tax blitzkrieg 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 HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelPentagon documents hundreds of serious misconduct cases against top brass Obama defense sec: Trump's treatment of Gold Star families 'sickens' me The Hill's 12:30 Report 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.