I’m here to join Senator Gillibrand in asking for a vote on this crucial legislation. The Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act has more than 60 bipartisan cosponsors, and it’s past time for this bill to become law.
This legislation was first introduced by Senator Gillibrand and myself eight years ago, and has gained more and more support each year.
Senators who previously were skeptical have come around and realized that the DOD can’t handle the pervasive problem of sexual assault on their own.
The Armed Services Committee and the Department of Defense have had more than enough time to consider this idea.
They’ve told us they have it under control and tried other approaches.
Those approaches have not worked. Women, and men, in the military continue to face high rates of sexual assault and retaliation.
It’s clear this bill is needed.
By moving the decision to prosecute out of the chain of command, perpetrators of sexual assault and other serious crimes will be held accountable.
Survivors will have more confidence in the process. Retaliation will be less likely.
We’ve been waiting almost a decade, there’s no need to wait any longer. I urge my colleagues to allow this bill to move forward today.