May 30, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Gillibrand pushes for Senate vote on military sexual assault bill

Senator Gillibrand

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) appears on CNN's State of the Union on May 30.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) used the Memorial Day weekend to again call on her Senate colleagues to bring her military sexual assault bill to a vote.

Why it matters: The bipartisan legislation — which would reform the procedural process for how the military handles sexual assaults and other crimes — has yet to receive a vote despite having enough co-sponsors to defeat a filibuster, the Hill reports.

  • "This Memorial Day weekend, there is no better time to talk about the sacrifices the men and women in our armed services have made for us," Gillibrand said on CNN's State of the Union.

The big picture: The bill's primary obstacle to reaching the floor has been the reservations of Gillibrand's Democratic colleague, Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee.

  • Reed wants to confine the legislation's scope to sexual assault and incorporate the issue into the annual defense policy bill.
  • Gillibrand said on CNN that she believes narrowing the focus would "break apart the criminal justice system within the military."

Go deeper: Top general no longer opposes change in sexual assault policy

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