A group of senators held a press conference this morning to express their criticism of the reform of the military justice system included in the version approved by the Chamber of the National Defense Authorization Law.
Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who has been pushing for reform for years, argued that the House proposal would not do justice to survivors of sexual assault in the military.
Republican Senator Joni Ernst, A military veteran and survivor of sexual assault, she said she was “disappointed” by efforts to change Gillibrand’s original proposal and called for an independent vote on that measure.
Under Gillibrand’s bill, the prosecution of serious crimes, including sexual assault, would be completely removed from the chain of command. With the approval passed by the House, military commanders would still hold trials.
“As someone who has been a prosecutor, it doesn’t make sense,” said the Democratic senator. Richard Blumenthal he said of the House proposal.
The House-passed version of the defense bill includes a review of the military justice system aimed at combating sexual assault against service members.
The final version of the bill calls for the appointment of special prosecutors outside the chain of command to handle the prosecution of sexual assault, murder, and kidnapping, among other crimes.
However, the new system would still allow military commanders to carry out trials and elect jurors, a provision that drew harsh criticism from defenders.
Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who has lobbied for a review of the military justice system for years, argued that the proposal was grossly insufficient and vowed to keep fighting for more changes.
“As sexual assault survivor advocates warned for months, House and Senate Armed Forces leaders have dismantled our bipartisan closed-door military justice reforms, doing a disservice to our service members and our democracy, “Gillibrand said in a statement.
“This bill represents a major setback for service members, women and survivors in particular. However, we will not stop pursuing true military justice reforms for our brave service members and I will continue to call for a vote for or against. “
House of Representatives Passes $ 768 Billion Defense Bill on Bipartisan Vote, Despite Progressive Criticism
Greetings from Washington, Live Blog Readers.
The House passed a $ 768 billion defense bill last night, in a vote of 363 to 70, with 169 Democrats and 194 Republicans endorsing the compromise measure.
The National Defense Authorization Act includes a 2.7% salary increase for troops, an overhaul of the military justice system aimed at combating sexual assault, and a $ 25 billion increase in spending over what Joe biden had requested.
Some progressives, who hoped to curb military spending now that Democrats control the chambers of Congress and the White House, complained about the bill’s higher price.
“It is amazing how quickly Congress moves its guns, but we cannot guarantee housing, care and justice for our veterans, or invest in strong employment programs for districts like mine,” said the congressman. Jamaal bowman said.
But Democratic leaders defended the final version of the bill, arguing that it will help ensure America’s military readiness in a rapidly changing world.
“The Chamber, under the leadership of the President Adam smith, has passed a strong bipartisan defense bill that will keep America safe, defend our service members and their families, and promote our nation’s leadership in the world, ”said the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Nancy pelosi said.
“As the House sends this legislation to the Senate, we will continue to deliver results for the people.”
The blog will have more coming soon, so stay tuned.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism