The HillTube

Gillibrand seeks ‘unbiased justice’ for military sexual assault victims

ADVERTISEMENT
Momentum is growing in Congress to address the military’s problems with sexual assault on the heels of several embarrassing incidents and a new report that found an estimated 26,000 sexual assaults occurred in 2012, an increase of more than a third from 2010.

“This is the only way to provide the unbiased justice that our victims need,” Gillibrand said Thursday. Two Republican senators, Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Mike Johanns (Neb.), joined in supporting Gillibrand's bill Thursday, a move that will help boost its prospects.

Ten other Democratic senators, including four members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, are also on board. Four House members are backing the bill in the lower chamber, including two Republicans.

But the measure faces an uncertain future in Congress. Military leaders and some lawmakers have expressed resistance to making the significant structural changes Gillibrand is proposing.

“It is my strong belief — and I think others on Capitol Hill and within our institution — the ultimate authority has to remain within the command structure,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said at a press briefing last week.

For more on Gillibrand's proposed legislation, click here.