With the House breaking this Friday for the rest of the year, Stars and Stripes reports that Congressional military committee leaders have proposed an “expedited process” for authorizing the new $632.8 billion defense bill. Rush approval means some amendments will be tabled—including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) controversial proposal allowing victims to take sexual assault prosecutions outside the military’s chain of command.
Gillibrand’s proposal had gained traction in recent months following a May 2013 Pentagon sexual assault report that during fiscal year 2012, approximately 26,000 women and men had experienced unwanted sexual contact—an increase from 19,000 in 2010. Of these 26,000 service members, 53 percent were men. Less than 3 out of every 100 sexual assaults were prosecuted.
Other reforms aimed at curbing sexual assault are included in the bill.