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.