U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Chair of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, issued the following statement today after the Senate Armed Services Committee cut the Military Justice Improvement Act, bipartisan legislation she wrote and introduced with the support of 27 co-sponsors, from the markup of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014:
"I am deeply disappointed the voices of the victims of sexual assault have been drowned out by the military leaders who have failed to combat this crisis. While, in my view, we did not take all the steps required to solve the problem, there is no doubt we have taken several significant steps forward with the current version of the bill. I will continue to fight to strengthen this bill by offering the Military Justice Improvement Act as an amendment when the Defense bill is on the full Senate floor for a vote. Our advocacy on this issue to remove the sole decision making of the chain of command in serious crimes has only just begun."