House panel blocks votes on chain of command amendments

Gillibrand's provision was stripped from the Senate Armed Services Committee’s markup of the defense authorization bill on Wednesday by a 17-9 vote.

The amendment was sponsored in the House by Reps. Dan Benishek (R-Mich.), Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardEmergency response worker temporarily reassigned after false Hawaii missile alert Hawaii rep: False alarm shows need for Trump to talk with North Korea Hawaii rep on false nuclear alert: 'These kinds of mistakes' can lead to brink of war MORE (D-Hawaii), Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.).

The other blocked amendment came from Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), which would have taken sexual assault cases out of the chain of command and given the decision to services’ chief prosecutors.

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) requested a vote in the Rules Committee to allow Speier’s amendment on the floor, but it was rejected by the Republicans and voted down 1-9.

Rules Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) defended the committee’s decision, saying that it included two amendments on sexual assault prosecutions. Those amendments were from Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), which establishes mandatory minimums for sexual assault offenses, and Rep. Lois FrankelLois Jane FrankelDemocrats planning protests for Trump’s first State of the Union Dems to invite sexual assault survivors as guests to Trump's State of the Union: report Democratic women unite on demand to investigate Trump MORE (D-Fla.), which would make it a new offense for a commander to sexually assault or rape a subordinate.