Surveys by the Pentagon found that the rate of sexual assault in the military increased by 38% over the last two years. The Defense secretary has vowed to take steps to "do better," but to be frank, we've heard that for years and the results haven't panned out.
That's why it's time for Congress to take decisive action of its own and pass Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's Military Justice Improvement Act. The legislation aims to change the way the military prosecutes these crimes so that victims are less afraid to come forward to their superiors and assaulters are punished with more than a slap on the wrist.
The legislation has some bipartisan support - enough to get the majority in the Senate and House - but Republican leadership keeps filibustering to stop this from becoming law.
That is unacceptable. Our country's military service members deserve protection from predators, and it's long past time for Congress to own a share of the responsibility toward fixing it. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, we call on you to stop the filibuster and get this important legislation passed.