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Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Jack Reed during a hearing on Capitol Hill last Tuesday. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Jack Reed (D-R.I.) announced his support Sunday for "changing the role" of military commanders in the prosecution of sexual assault cases, per the Washington Post.

Why it matters: Reed's announcement indicates he'll back a bipartisan plan driven by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) to appoint independent prosecutors to oversee allegations of sexual assault in the military.

  • Gillibrand said an increase in assaults and drop in prosecutions shows "the current system is not working for survivors," per WashPost.
  • The issue received national attention last year following the death of Army Spc. Vanessa Guillén. An investigation found that the chain of command had failed to address the sexual harassment she faced before she was killed.

What he's saying: "Sexual assault and harassment are pervasive problems in the U.S. military and American culture and we must take comprehensive action to halt sexual violence, hold violators accountable, and support survivors," Reed said in a statement to news outlets.

  • He noted the Independent Review Commission (IRC) on Sexual Assault in the Military had "largely accepted" Gillibrand's proposal on handling sexual assault prosecutions. 
  • "With that in mind, the IRC’s recommendation to change the role of the chain of command in the prosecution of sexual assault cases will be included in the Chairman's mark that we will soon take up," Reed said.

What to expect: "At the end of conference, I fully expect a robust change in the role of the commander in sexual assault cases will be sent to President Biden for signature," Reed said.  

  • "While the first round of reform will focus on the issue of accountability, I hope and intend to incorporate the IRC's recommendations on prevention, climate and culture, and victim care and support as we move through the legislative year."

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

Go deeper

Time's Up CEO resigns amid Cuomo scandal

Tina Tchen speaks at a demonstration calling for Care Work to be recognized as Climate Work on July 13. Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Green New Deal Network

President and CEO of Time's Up Tina Tchen announced her resignation Thursday amid revelations that leaders of the sexual harassment victims’ advocacy group advised former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on how to respond to harassment allegations.

Background: Tchen had led the organization since 2019 and co-founded Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund with attorney Roberta Kaplan, who also resigned. Tchen was previously chief of staff to former first lady Michelle Obama.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.