White House isn’t taking sides on Gillibrand bill

“We haven't taken a position on or seen specific legislation, but we'll review any idea that addresses this problem,” he added.

Gillibrand gained new Senate support for her bill on Tuesday, including Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Defense: Congress poised for busy week on nominations, defense bill | Trump to deliver Naval Academy commencement speech | Trump administration appeals decision to block suspected combatant's transfer Democrats mull audacious play to block Pompeo Overnight Defense: Trump steps up fight with California over guard deployment | Heitkamp is first Dem to back Pompeo for State | Dems question legality of Syria strikes MORE (R-Ky.). She has 34 co-sponsors to her bill, which she plans to introduce as an amendment to the Defense authorization bill on the Senate floor.

Her bill would take the decision to prosecute most major criminal cases away from commanders and give it to military proseuctors.

But the bill is uniformly opposed by the military’s top brass, and senior Senate Democrats — including Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl LevinCarl Milton LevinSen. Gillibrand, eyeing 2020 bid, rankles some Democrats The Hill's 12:30 Report Congress needs bipartisanship to fully investigate Russian influence MORE (D-Mich.) — disagree with her proposal.

Obama's backing could help Gillibrand win over skeptical Democrats, but it would also pit him against his top generals, who have said they want to keep the decision to proseucte cases in the chain of command.

Obama helped drive congressional action on sexual assault earlier this year when he called on the military to do more to address the problem and held a meeting with Pentagon leaders at the White House.

White House officials also held a meeting with lawmakers, including Gillibrand, in order to discuss their proposals to tackle sexual assault in the military.