By Justin Sink - 05/24/13 01:16 PM EDT
Last week, Obama met with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to discuss the growing problem.
The week prior, senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett and Tina Tchen, the first lady’s chief of staff and director of the president's Council on Women and Girls, led a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers at the White House to discuss the problem. The meeting included a dozen lawmakers from both parties and chambers.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey is expected to make a rare appearance with all of the military service chiefs on Capitol Hill next month to testify on congressional proposals to address the issue. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) called the rise a "national disgrace" on Thursday.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has proposed legislation that would take the decision to prosecute felony-level cases outside of the chain of command, a move she says will give military prosecutors more discretion and encourage more sexual assault victims to report crimes. Rep. Jackie Speier (R-Calif.) has proposed creating an independent office to investigate and prosecute sexual assault crimes.