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Gillibrand says Schumer should bring military sexual assault bill up for a vote

Gillibrand says Schumer should bring military sexual assault bill up for a vote
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Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandGillibrand: Military must make changes beyond sexual assault cases COVID-19 long-haulers press Congress for paid family leave Ocasio-Cortez, Gillibrand and Moulton call for more high-speed rail funding in infrastructure package MORE (D-N.Y.) on Sunday called on Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerFive takeaways on the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision Senate confirms Chris Inglis as first White House cyber czar Schumer vows to only pass infrastructure package that is 'a strong, bold climate bill' MORE (D-N.Y.) to bring her military sexual assault bill up for a vote on the Senate floor.

Speaking to host Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperPolice investigating death of TV anchor who uncovered Clinton tarmac meeting as suicide Mississippi governor: Biden goal of 70 percent of US vaccinated by July 4 is 'arbitrary' Energy secretary: Adversaries have capability of shutting down US power grid MORE on CNN's "State of the Union," Gillibrand said the bill, which she reintroduced in April, is "how we build a military justice system that's worthy of the sacrifice our men and women in the military make."

Gillibrand lamented the current system under which military sexual assaults are investigated, which requires a commander to look at an investigation and decide whether it will go to trial. The New York Democrat pointed to bias against sexual assault survivors as well as Black and brown service members as a reason for a new system.

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"Take biases out of the system across the board, you need a trained military prosecutor to make these decisions about whether it should go to trial. That takes it out of the chain of command," Gillibrand said. "The chain of command has bias because they may know the perpetrator, the accused. They may know the survivor. And they may have a certain lens about which service member is better for fighting a war or better for good order and discipline within the ranks."

"Over the last 10 years, the number of sexual assaults have gone up, but the percentage of cases going to trial and ending in conviction have gone down. Under President TrumpDonald TrumpWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Poll: 30 percent of GOP voters believe Trump will 'likely' be reinstated this year Black Secret Service agent told Trump it was offensive to hold rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth: report MORE, the statistics and details got even worse. And so we are not moving in the right direction," Gillibrand added. "And, last, our allies have already done this."

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Gillibrand attempted to get a vote on her bill last week but was met with opposition from Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack ReedJack ReedGillibrand: Military must make changes beyond sexual assault cases Overnight Defense: Pentagon details military construction projects getting .2B restored from wall funds | Biden chooses former commander to lead Navy | Bill seeks to boost visa program for Afghans who helped US Biden taps tech CEO, former destroyer commander to lead Navy MORE (D-R.I.).

Reed argued that the issue would be included in a sweeping annual defense policy bill and that it should go through his committee instead.

Tapper asked Gillibrand why she thinks Reed is blocking her legislation.

"You would have to ask Jack Reed," Gillibrand responded. "But his insistence on narrowing this bill to one crime, the crime of sexual assault, you're going to have — you're going to basically break apart the criminal justice system within the military. You're going to create one set of justice for one set of plaintiffs and defendants and the rest for everybody else. It's not fair."