Gillibrand won't narrow sexual assault bill

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election Suburban moms are going to decide the 2020 election Jon Stewart urges Congress to help veterans exposed to burn pits MORE (D-N.Y.) won't narrow her bill on military sexual assaults after considering narrower provisions, she said Sunday morning.


"No. We're going to stick to the original plan because it's a better bill," she said when asked on ABC's "This Week" whether she'd take a narrower approach to her legislation to take only trials for sexual assault out of the military chain of command, not other major crimes.

"It's been an interesting process because what we learned is having the bright line of elevating all serious crimes out of the chain of command, makes sure both victims' rights are protected and defendants' rights for civil liberties reasons, that you need fairness and justice."

Gillibrand said last week that she was considering that change in order to woo other members to her bill, which is competing with another favored by the Pentagon and backed by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), which would keep trials for military sexual assault under the purview of the military. Gillibrand's bill has the backing of 47 senators, not enough to pass.  

"We're considering focusing the amendment on sexual assault and rape in response to some suggestions by undecided senators,” Gillibrand told reporters then.

But that move drew fire from supporters of her legislation, including victims' advocates, and she seems to have backed away from any changes.