Gillibrand: The Military Justice Improvement Act Would Give Service Members a Justice System That Works (July 1, 2019)

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Brian Lewis MJIA.jpg

You can listen to U.S. Navy veteran Brian Lewis’ March 13, 2013 testimony to the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel here.

“Nearly 30 years ago, when George H. W. Bush was president and Dick Cheney was the secretary of defense, the Pentagon made a promise to our service members. Dozens of Navy and Marine Corps aviation officers had just been investigated for the infamous Tailhook sexual assault scandal, and America’s military leadership affirmed a “zero tolerance” policy toward sexual assault within their ranks. The military had a sexual assault problem, and pledged to solve it.

It’s painfully clear that the military has now failed at this mission by almost any metric. For years, survivor after survivor has told us the change in the system we needed to make to end this scourge — the same change that a number of our allies around the world have already made: take the adjudication of these crimes outside of the chain of command and allow trained military prosecutors to prosecute them.” Read more opinion at Military Times here.

“The Military Justice Improvement Act would take the prosecution of sexual assault and other serious crimes, such as murder, out of the chain of command. It would keep those crimes in the military justice system, but put the decision to prosecute them into the hands of actual military prosecutors who are trained to deal with complex legal issues.” –Senator Kirsten Gillbrand (Military Times, July 1, 2019)

Gillibrand Leads Bipartisan Coalition to Reform Military Justice System  -Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (May 16, 2013)

Related Links:
Pass the Military Justice Improvement Act @SenGillibrand
S. 1789: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2019
S. 1789: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2019 [Full Text]
Comprehensive Resource Center for the Military Justice Improvement Act
Sens. Cruz, Gillibrand Reintroduce Military Justice Improvement Act
Udall, Heinrich Reintroduce Military Justice Improvement Act To Address Crisis Of Military Sexual Assault
Leahy Joins Gillibrand And Others To Reintroduce Military Justice Improvement Act
Hirono Wants To Change How The Military Prosecutes Sexual Assault
Senator Martha McSally’s Responsibility to Survivors of Military Sexual Assault
McSally defends keeping military commanders involved in sexual assault cases
Gillibrand: “Status Quo” Not Working With Military Sexual Assaults
Veterans for Peace: Sexual Assault on Military Members Press Conference, Seattle, Washington (August 11, 2006)
Jamie Leigh Jones Testified at the House Judiciary Committee Halliburton/KBR Iraq Rape Case Hearing (December 19, 2007)
HOR Oversight Subcommittee on National Security & Foreign Affairs Held a Hearing on Sexual Assault in the Military (July 31, 2008)
Former Representative Bruce Braley (D-IA) Introduced the Holley Lynn James Act (April 12, 2011)
Lauterbach Case Prompts Policy Reforms for Victims of Sexual Assault in the Military (December 25, 2011)
Sexual Misconduct Allegations at Lackland AFB | C-SPAN (January 23, 2013)
Panetta Is Lifting Ban On Women In Combat Roles (NPR, January 23, 2013)
Sexual Assault in the Military, Part 1 | C-SPAN (March 13, 2013)
Sexual Assault in the Military, Part 2 | C-SPAN (March 13, 2013)
Gillibrand Leads Bipartisan Coalition to Reform Military Justice System [Full Video] | Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (May 16, 2013)
Gillibrand Builds Bipartisan Support for Change of Military Justice Code (May 16, 2013)
S. 967: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 – U.S. Senate Voting Record (March 6, 2014)
The war in Congress over rape in the military, explained (June 8, 2016)
Sexual Assault in the Military | C-SPAN (March 6, 2019)
S. 1789: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2019 Reintroduced by Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York (June 13, 2019)
Senate Armed Services Committee Members & House Armed Services Committee Members (June 21, 2019)
Gillibrand: The Military Justice Improvement Act Would Give Service Members a Justice System That Works (July 1, 2019)

S. 1789: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2019 Reintroduced by Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York (June 13, 2019)

Bipartisan Support MJIA 2.jpg

Military Justice Improvement Act #PassMJIA

Sens. Cruz, Gillibrand Reintroduce Military Justice Improvement Act (June 13, 2019)

“U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and I today led a bipartisan group of senators to reintroduce the Military Justice Improvement Act, which would professionalize how the military prosecutes serious crimes by moving the decision over whether to prosecute them to independent, trained, professional military prosecutors.” –Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

The Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA) of 2019 is sponsored by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and cosponsored by Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.).

Editor’s Note: The below U.S. Senate list was compiled from the S. 967: MJIA of 2013 Senate Voting Record. The last time the Senate voted on the MJIA was March 6, 2014. Senator Gillibrand has reintroduced the MJIA every year since. Since 2014, the make-up of the Senate has changed. The still seated Senators who voted Yea and Nay in 2014 are listed as Yes and No in this list. The new senators who cosponsored the MJIA in 2019 have been added to the Yes list; the new Senators who stand with military brass (McSally & Ernst) have been added to the No list; and the rest of new Senators have been listed as unknown (Unk) because we don’t know how they will vote on this bill. Please contact your two Senators, these Senators, and both the SASC Members & HASC Members. Click on the Senator’s name and submit your support for the MJIA via the web or click on the Yes, Unk, or No to send them a message via Twitter. We provided an example tweet you can feel free to copy and paste or you can submit your own personalized message.

Example Tweet:

.@Sen_JoeManchin

Reasons we need your support:
1. Kamisha Block @USArmy: wp.me/p3XTUi-yc
2. Paige Briles #Army: wp.me/p3XTUi-5kn
3. Brandon Caserta @USNavy: wp.me/p3XTUi-8zg
4. @forthood Stateside Deaths: wp.me/p3XTUi-5oF

#PassMJIA @SASCDems

UNITED STATES SENATORS (2019)

C = Cosponsor of Military Justice Improvement Act
S = Senate Armed Service Committee (SASC) Member

State District Name Party Vote
NH Sr, C, S Sen. Jeanne Shaheen Democratic Yes
VT Jr, C Sen. Bernard Sanders Independent Yes
MN Sr, C Sen. Amy Klobuchar Democratic Yes
TX Jr, C Sen. Ted Cruz Republican Yes
NM Jr, C, S Sen. Martin Heinrich Democratic Yes
MA Sr, C, S Sen. Elizabeth Warren Democratic Yes
HI Sr Sen. Brian Schatz Democratic Yes
NY Jr, C, S Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Democratic Yes
CA Sr, C Sen. Dianne Feinstein Democratic Yes
PA Sr, C Sen. Bob Casey Democratic Yes
CT Jr Sen. Chris Murphy Democratic Yes
HI Jr, C, S Sen. Mazie Hirono Democratic Yes
KY Sr Sen. Mitch McConnell Republican Yes
VT Sr, C Sen. Patrick Leahy Democratic Yes
DE Jr, C Sen. Chris Coons Democratic Yes
CO Sr, C Sen. Michael Bennet Democratic Yes
WA Sr Sen. Patty Murray Democratic Yes
IA Sr, C Sen. Charles Grassley Republican Yes
NJ Sr, C Sen. Bob Menendez Democratic Yes
OR Jr, C Sen. Jeffery Merkley Democratic Yes
ME Sr Sen. Susan Collins Republican Yes
IL Sr, C Sen. Richard Durbin Democratic Yes
WY Sr Sen. Michael Enzi Republican Yes
WA Jr Sen. Maria Cantwell Democratic Yes
MI Sr Sen. Debbie Stabenow Democratic Yes
NY Sr Sen. Charles Schumer Democratic Yes
OR Sr, C Sen. Ron Wyden Democratic Yes
OH Sr, C Sen. Sherrod Brown Democratic Yes
NJ Jr, C Sen. Cory Booker Democratic Yes
NM Sr, C Sen. Tom Udall Democratic Yes
KS Jr Sen. Jerry Moran Republican Yes
MD Sr Sen. Ben Cardin Democratic Yes
KY Jr, C Sen. Rand Paul Republican Yes
MA Jr, C Sen. Edward Markey Democratic Yes
AK Sr, C Sen. Lisa Murkowski Republican Yes
CT Sr, C, S Sen. Richard Blumenthal Democratic Yes
WI Jr, C Sen. Tammy Baldwin Democratic Yes
MN Jr, C Sen. Tina Smith Democratic Yes
NH Jr, C Sen. Maggie Hassan Democratic Yes
CA Jr, C Sen. Kamala Harris Democratic Yes
IL Jr, C, S Sen. Tammy Duckworth Democratic Yes
MD Jr Sen. Chris Van Hollen Democratic Unk
AK Jr, S Sen. Dan Sullivan Republican Unk
IN Jr Sen. Mike Braun Republican Unk
IN Jr Sen. Todd Young Republican Unk
NV Jr Sen. Jacky Rosen Democratic Unk
NV Jr Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto Democratic Unk
LA Jr Sen. John Kennedy Republican Unk
LA Jr Sen. Bill Cassidy Republican Unk
ND Jr, S Sen. Kevin Cramer Republican Unk
WV Jr Sen. Shelley Moore Capito Republican Unk
CO Jr Sen. Cory Gardner Republican Unk
AR Sr, S Sen. Tom Cotton Republican Unk
NE Jr Sen. Ben Sasse Republican Unk
SD Jr, S Sen. Mike Rounds Republican Unk
MT Jr Sen. Steve Daines Republican Unk
NC Jr, S Sen. Thom Tillis Republican Unk
TN Jr, S Sen. Marsha Blackburn Republican Unk
AZ Jr Sen. Kyrsten Sinema Democratic Unk
UT Jr Sen. Mitt Romney Republican Unk
GA Jr, S Sen. David Perdue Republican Unk
FL Jr, S Sen. Rick Scott Republican Unk
MO Jr, S Sen. Josh Hawley Republican Unk
MS Jr Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith Republican Unk
MI Jr, S Sen. Gary Peters Democratic Unk
OK Jr Sen. James Lankford Republican Unk
AL Jr, S Sen. Doug Jones Democratic Unk
AZ Jr, S Sen. Martha McSally Republican No
IA Jr, S Sen. Joni Ernst Republican No
MT Sr Sen. Jon Tester Democratic No
ID Jr Sen. James Risch Republican No
FL Sr Sen. Marco Rubio Republican No
ND Sr Sen. John Hoeven Republican No
RI Jr Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse Democratic No
WI Sr Sen. Ron Johnson Republican No
VA Sr Sen. Mark Warner Democratic No
SC Jr Sen. Timothy Scott Republican No
VA Jr, S Sen. Tim Kaine Democratic No
DE Sr Sen. Tom Carper Democratic No
NE Sr, S Sen. Deb Fischer Republican No
MS Sr, S Sen. Roger Wicker Republican No
ID Sr Sen. Mike Crapo Republican No
AL Sr Sen. Richard Shelby Republican No
ME Jr, S Sen. Angus King Independent No
RI Sr, S Sen. Jack Reed Democratic No
MO Sr Sen. Roy Blunt Republican No
TN Sr Sen. Lamar Alexander Republican No
SD Sr Sen. John Thune Republican No
UT Sr Sen. Mike Lee Republican No
PA Jr Sen. Patrick Toomey Republican No
OH Jr Sen. Rob Portman Republican No
TX Sr Sen. John Cornyn Republican No
NC Sr Sen. Richard Burr Republican No
SC Sr Sen. Lindsey Graham Republican No
OK Sr, S Sen. Jim Inhofe Republican No
KS Sr Sen. Pat Roberts Republican No
WY Jr Sen. John Barrasso Republican No
WV Sr, S Sen. Joe Manchin Democratic No
GA Sr Sen. Johnny Isakson Republican No
AR Sr Sen. John Boozman Republican No

Related Links:
S. 967: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 – U.S. Senate Voting Record (March 6, 2014)
Pass the Military Justice Improvement Act @SenGillibrand
S. 1789: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2019
S. 1789: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2019 [Full Text]
Military Justice Improvement Act of 2019 Would Remove Decisions on Sexual Assault from the Chain of Command
Sen. Martha McSally’s stunning rape revelation shocks Capitol Hill, prompts calls for military justice reform
Presidential candidate, Army veteran Tulsi Gabbard says military sexual assault is ‘rampant,’ at SXSW town hall
Bringing MST home, to Congress
Senator Renews Push to Distance Commanders from Military Prosecutions
Bills Pending US Congress Senate Armed Services Committee
Shanahan calls for reforms as military sexual assaults rise by 38%; highest for young women
2020 Democrats say they have plans to address military sexual assault crisis
Gillibrand re-introduces military justice bill
Sens. Cruz, Gillibrand Reintroduce Military Justice Improvement Act
Udall, Heinrich Reintroduce Military Justice Improvement Act To Address Crisis Of Military Sexual Assault
Leahy Joins Gillibrand And Others To Reintroduce Military Justice Improvement Act
Hirono Wants To Change How The Military Prosecutes Sexual Assault
Senator Martha McSally’s Responsibility to Survivors of Military Sexual Assault
McSally defends keeping military commanders involved in sexual assault cases
Gillibrand: “Status Quo” Not Working With Military Sexual Assaults
Senate Armed Services Committee Members & House Armed Services Committee Members (June 21, 2019)

S. 967: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 – U.S. Senate Voting Record (March 6, 2014)

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Military Justice Improvement Act #PassMJIA

S. 967 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 – Voting Record of U.S. Senate

NOTE: INVOKING CLOTURE REQUIRES A 3/5 MAJORITY OF THE SENATE. IT IS NOT A VOTE ON THE PASSAGE OF THE PIECE OF LEGISLATION, BUT LIMITS FURTHER DEBATE TO 30 HOURS. CLOTURE IS TYPICALLY USED TO END A FILIBUSTER. A FAILED CLOTURE VOTE OFTEN PREVENTS THE LEGISLATION FROM EVER COMING TO A VOTE.

NOTE: THIS LEGISLATION NEEDED A THREE-FIFTHS MAJORITY VOTE TO PASS.

Date: March 6, 2014
Issues: Crime, Military Personnel, Women
Bill: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013
Roll Number: 59
Yea: 55
Nay: 45
Cloture Not Invoked (Senate)

Gillibrand brings victims’ voices to Senate floor in fight for military justice -U.S.Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (March 6, 2014)

Before Senate Vote, Hirono Urges Colleagues To Pass Military Justice Improvement Act -Mazie Hirono (March 6, 2014)

Sen. Paul joined Senate colleagues to urge passage of the Military Justice Improvement Act. This piece of bipartisan legislation will combat sexual assault and other violent crimes in the military by restructuring the way in which they are reported and prosecuted. -Senator Rand Paul (March 6, 2014)

Floor Statement on the Military Justice Improvement Act -Senator Chuck Grassley (March 6, 2014)

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) went to the Senate floor to reiterate her support for the Military Justice Improvement Act of which she is an original co-sponsor and call for its immediate passage. -Senator Jeanne Shaheen (March 6, 2014)

U.S. Senator Susan Collins spoke on the Senate floor today in strong support of legislation coming before the Senate that would address the crisis of sexual assault in the military. -Senator Susan Collins (March 6, 2014)

(Washington, D.C.) — Yesterday on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) spoke in support of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-NY) bipartisan Military Justice Improvement Act (S. 1752). -[Former] Senator Dean Heller (March 6, 2014)

The Senate came within five votes of passing a major change to the military’s command structure. An amendment by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., would have stripped commanders of authority over sexual assault cases and put everything in the hands of seasoned military trial lawyers. -CBS Evening News (March 6, 2014)

Senator Ted Cruz speaks out in support of a military sexual assault bill that was blocked in the Senate. -CNN (March 6, 2014)

PBS NewsHour: Hirono Fights For Military Justice Improvement Act -Mazie Hirono (March 7, 2014)

Senator Brian Schatz’s remarks on failure of Military Justice Improvement Act passage -Hawaii247.com (March 7, 2014)

Editors Note: The Senator’s name with a link is a Senator still serving in the U.S. Senate (as of June 24, 2019). You can click on the link and it will take you to their official Senate page. The Senators without a link have been voted out, left, retired, or died. If you click on the Vote link Yea or Nay, it will take you to the Senator’s twitter page. You can thank them for supporting the MJIA or remind those who voted Nay why the MJIA is so important.

State District Name Party Vote
AK Jr Sen.  Mark  Begich Democratic Yea
NH Sr Sen.  Jeanne  Shaheen Democratic Yea
MD Sr Sen.  Barbara  A.  Mikulski Democratic Yea
MN Jr Sen.  Al  Franken Democratic Yea
VT Jr Sen.  Bernard  ‘Bernie’  Sanders Independent Yea
MN Sr Sen.  Amy  Klobuchar Democratic Yea
TX Jr Sen.  Rafael  Edward  ‘Ted’  Cruz  Republican Yea
NM Jr Sen.  Martin  T.  Heinrich Democratic Yea
MA Sr Sen.  Elizabeth  A.  Warren Democratic Yea
HI Sr Sen.  Brian  Emmaneul  Schatz Democratic Yea
NY Jr Sen.  Kirsten  E.  Gillibrand Democratic Yea
CA Sr Sen.  Dianne  Feinstein Democratic Yea
PA Sr Sen.  Robert  P.  ‘Bob’  Casey  Jr. Democratic Yea
IN Sr Sen.  Joe  Donnelly  Sr. Democratic Yea
CT Jr Sen.  Christopher  S.  ‘Chris’  Murphy Democratic Yea
HI Jr Sen.  Mazie  K.  Hirono Democratic Yea
NV Sr Sen.  Dean  Heller Republican Yea
KY Sr Sen.  Mitch  McConnell Republican Yea
CA Jr Sen.  Barbara  Boxer Democratic Yea
VT Sr Sen.  Patrick  J.  Leahy Democratic Yea
DE Jr Sen.  Christopher  A.  ‘Chris’  Coons Democratic Yea
CO Sr Sen.  Michael  Farrand  Bennet Democratic Yea
LA Sr Sen.  David  B.  Vitter Republican Yea
WA Sr Sen.  Patty  Murray Democratic Yea
IA Sr Sen.  Charles  E.  ‘Chuck’  Grassley Republican Yea
ND Jr Sen.  Heidi  Heitkamp Democratic Yea
WV Sr Sen.  John  D.  ‘Jay’  Rockefeller  IV Democratic Yea
NJ Sr Sen.  Robert  ‘Bob’  Menendez Democratic Yea
OR Jr Sen.  Jeffery  A.  ‘Jeff’  Merkley Democratic Yea
LA Sr Sen.  Mary  L.  Landrieu Democratic Yea
CO Sr Sen.  Mark  E.  Udall Democratic Yea
AR Sr Sen.  Mark  Lunsford  Pryor Democratic Yea
ME Sr Sen.  Susan  M.  Collins Republican Yea
IL Sr Sen.  Richard  J.  ‘Dick’  Durbin Democratic Yea
WY Sr Sen.  Michael  B.  ‘Mike’  Enzi Republican Yea
WA Jr Sen.  Maria  Cantwell Democratic Yea
MI Sr Sen.  Debbie  Ann  Stabenow Democratic Yea
NY Sr Sen.  Charles  E.  ‘Chuck’  Schumer Democratic Yea
OR Sr Sen.  Ron  Wyden Democratic Yea
IA Jr Sen.  Thomas  ‘Tom’  Harkin Democratic Yea
OH Sr Sen.  Sherrod  C.  Brown Democratic Yea
NJ Jr Sen.  Cory  A.  Booker Democratic Yea
NE Sr Sen.  Mike  O.  Johanns Republican Yea
NM Sr Sen.  Thomas  S.  ‘Tom’  Udall Democratic Yea
KS Jr Sen.  Jerry  W.  Moran Republican Yea
NV Sr Sen.  Harry  M.  Reid Democratic Yea
MD Sr Sen.  Benjamin  L.  ‘Ben’  Cardin Democratic Yea
KY Jr Sen.  Rand  Paul Republican Yea
SD Sr Sen.  Timothy  Peter  ‘Tim’  Johnson Democratic Yea
MA Jr Sen.  Edward  J.  ‘Ed’  Markey Democratic Yea
MT Jr Sen.  John  E.  Walsh Democratic Yea
NC Jr Sen.  Janet  R.  ‘Kay’  Hagan Democratic Yea
AK Sr Sen.  Lisa  A.  Murkowski Republican Yea
CT Sr Sen.  Richard  ‘Dick’  Blumenthal Democratic Yea
WI Jr Sen.  Tammy  Baldwin Democratic Yea
MT Sr Sen.  Jon  Tester Democratic Nay
IL Jr Sen.  Mark  Steven  Kirk Republican Nay
ID Jr Sen.  James  E.  ‘Jim’  Risch Republican Nay
FL Sr Sen.  Marco  Rubio Republican Nay
ND Sr Sen.  John  H.  Hoeven Republican Nay
RI Jr Sen.  Sheldon  Whitehouse Democratic Nay
WI Sr Sen.  Ron  Johnson Republican Nay
VA Sr Sen.  Mark  R.  Warner Democratic Nay
SC Jr Sen.  Timothy  E.  ‘Tim’  Scott Republican Nay
VA Jr Sen.  Timothy  M.  ‘Tim’  Kaine Democratic Nay
TN Jr Sen.  Robert  ‘Bob’  Corker Republican Nay
DE Sr Sen.  Thomas  Richard  ‘Tom’  Carper Democratic Nay
NE Sr Sen.  Deb  Fischer Republican Nay
AZ Sr Sen.  Jeff  Flake Republican Nay
NH Jr Sen.  Kelly  A.  Ayotte Republican Nay
MS Sr Sen.  Roger  F.  Wicker Republican Nay
ID Sr Sen.  Michael  D.  ‘Mike’  Crapo Republican Nay
UT Sr Sen.  Orrin  G.  Hatch Republican Nay
GA Sr Sen.  Clarence  Saxby  Chambliss Republican Nay
FL Sr Sen.  William  Clarence  ‘Bill’  Nelson  Sr. Democratic Nay
AL Sr Sen.  Richard  C.  Shelby Republican Nay
MO Sr Sen.  Claire  McCaskill Democratic Nay
ME Jr Sen.  Angus  S.  King  Jr. Independent Nay
RI Sr Sen.  John  Francis  ‘Jack’  Reed Democratic Nay
MO Sr Sen.  Roy  Blunt Republican Nay
TN Sr Sen.  Lamar  Alexander Republican Nay
SD Sr Sen.  John  R.  Thune Republican Nay
IN Sr Sen.  Daniel  R.  ‘Dan’  Coats Republican Nay
UT Sr Sen.  Michael  ‘Mike’  Lee Republican Nay
PA Jr Sen.  Patrick  J.  ‘Pat’  Toomey Republican Nay
OH Jr Sen.  Robert  J.  ‘Rob’  Portman Republican Nay
MS Sr Sen.  Thad  Cochran Republican Nay
TX Sr Sen.  John  Cornyn Republican Nay
NC Sr Sen.  Richard  M.  Burr Republican Nay
SC Sr Sen.  Lindsey  O.  Graham Republican Nay
AZ Sr Sen.  John  Sidney  McCain  III Republican Nay
OK Sr Sen.  James  M.  ‘Jim’  Inhofe Republican Nay
MI Sr Sen.  Carl  Levin Democratic Nay
NA None  Jefferson  Beauregard  ‘Jeff’  Sessions  III Republican Nay
KS Sr Sen.  Charles  Patrick  ‘Pat’  Roberts Republican Nay
WY Jr Sen.  John  Barrasso Republican Nay
WV Sr Sen.  Joseph  ‘Joe’  Manchin  III Democratic Nay
GA Sr Sen.  John  H.  ‘Johnny’  Isakson Republican Nay
OK Jr Sen.  Thomas  Allen  ‘Tom’  Coburn Republican Nay
AR Sr Sen.  John  N.  Boozman Republican Nay

Related Links:
S. 967 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013
S. 967 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 – Voting Record of U.S. Senate
S. 967 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 – National Key Vote
Comprehensive Resource Center for the Military Justice Improvement Act
Gillibrand brings victims’ voices to Senate floor in fight for military justice
Before Senate Vote, Hirono Urges Colleagues To Pass Military Justice Improvement Act
Sen. Paul Speaks in Support of Military Justice Improvement Act
Floor Statement on the Military Justice Improvement Act
On Senate Floor Senator Shaheen Calls for Passage of Military Justice Improvement Act
Sen. Collins speaks in support of efforts to address military sexual assault
Heller Speaks About Military Sexual Assault Legislation
Senate blocks change to military sexual assault cases
Sen. Cruz: They didn’t sign up to be sexually assaulted
PBS NewsHour: Hirono Fights For Military Justice Improvement Act
Senator Brian Schatz’s remarks on failure of Military Justice Improvement Act passage
The war in Congress over rape in the military, explained
Senate Armed Services Committee Members & House Armed Services Committee Members (June 21, 2019)

Senator Collins speaks in support of efforts to address military sexual assault

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins spoke on the Senate floor today in strong support of legislation coming before the Senate that would address the crisis of sexual assault in the military.

“Since 2004, I have been sounding the alarm over the military’s ineffective response to the growing crisis of sexual assault in the military, including the need to ensure appropriate punishment for the perpetrators, to provide adequate care for the survivors of such reprehensible crimes, and to change the culture across the military so that sexual assault is unthinkable,” said Senator Collins, who first raised this issue during an Armed Services Committee hearing ten years ago.

In her remarks on the Senate floor, she singled out for praise the courage of two Mainers who have come forward to tell their stories.

“I also want to acknowledge the courage and conviction of Jennifer Norris and Ruth Moore – two Mainers who were sexually assaulted while serving and have made it their mission to change the broken system that does not put victims first. Through their advocacy, they have helped to shine a light on this crisis and deserve our gratitude.”

Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) Cosponsored the Military Justice Improvement Act; Currently Serving as Senate Armed Services Committee Member (May 16, 2013)

Mazie Hirono

Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Senate Armed Services Committee

Hawaii Delegation Backs Reforms Against Military Sexual Assaults (May 16, 2013) by Kery Murakami, Honolulu Civil Beat

New legislation would make it easier for victims of sexual assaults in the military to come forward.

“WASHINGTON, D.C. — A burgeoning scandal over sexual assaults in the military is fueling calls from congressional lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to support a bill that gives victims greater confidence that they’ll get justice. At an emotional press conference on Thursday where former service members spoke of being sexually assaulted while in the military, Sen. Mazie Hirono and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard joined a bipartisan group in both chambers in pushing for reform. The issue was a personal one for Gabbard, who served two tours of duty in the Middle East with the National Guard. Though she was not available for comment Thursday, she told CNN earlier this month that rape culture was prevalent during her first deployment to Iraq, to the point where soldiers were trained on protecting themselves from other soldiers.”

At [the] press conference, Jennifer Norris said she was raped while serving in the U.S. Air Force. “At first I was too afraid to report my assault to my chain of command, but two years later I was forced to report due to the escalation of the behavior and the fear that I would be raped again,” she said. Norris…said she’d been reluctant to report the rape because, “in the Air Force, I witnessed first hand what happens to those who stepped forward to report their assaults. I did not want to be stigmatized for reporting my assault — as I tried to move forward with my career. Instead, the best option for me was to try and endure it, to suck it up and try and make it until I could get transferred somewhere else — only to have it happen over and over again, like a recurring nightmare.” –Honolulu Civil Beat (May 16, 2013)

Read more from Honolulu Civil Beat here.

In the News:

U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono was joined today by victims of sexual assault in the military and organizations who assist victims of Military Sexual Trauma (MST) to announce new bipartisan, bicameral legislation that would reform the military justice system by removing the prosecution of all crimes punishable by one year or more in confinement from the chain of command, except crimes that are uniquely military in nature, such as disobeying orders or going Absent Without Leave. -Mazie Hirono (September 25, 2013)

Senator Mazie K. Hirono joined a diverse coalition, led by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), to call for the creation of a fair military justice system to reverse the systemic obstacles that sexual assault victims face. The Military Justice Improvement Act would remove the military’s chain of command’s sole decision-making power over whether cases move forward to trial. -Mazie Hirono (November 6, 2013)

Hirono Speaks In Support Of The Military Justice Improvement Act. -Mazie Hirono (November 14, 2013)

With Vote Looming, Hirono Urges Support For Military Justice Improvement Act -Mazie Hirono (November 20, 2013)

Before Senate Vote, Hirono Urges Colleagues To Pass Military Justice Improvement Act -Mazie Hirono (March 6, 2014)

PBS NewsHour: Hirono Fights For Military Justice Improvement Act -Mazie Hirono (March 7, 2014)

Senator Hirono Calls to Address Military Sexual Assault -Mazie Hirono (May 24, 2016)

Senator Hirono Presses Marine Corps Commandant for Commitment to Address Military Sexual Assualt -Mazie Hirono (March 14, 2017)

Related Links:
Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Senate Armed Services Committee
S.967 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013
S.1752 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013
Rape victims testify about assaults in Military (March 13, 2013)
Hawaii Delegation Backs Reforms Against Military Sexual Assaults (May 16, 2013)
Tough military sexual assault bill introduced (May 17, 2013)
Hirono visits 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks (April 8, 2013)
Hawaii delegation supports bill on military sexual assault (May 17, 2013)
Women in Congress Leading the Charge on Changing the Culture of Sexual Assault in the Military (May 18, 2013)
Women in the Senate Confront the Military on Sexual Assaults (June 3, 2013)
Senate set for battle over military sexual assault (June 12, 2013)
Diverse coalition behind Gillibrand sexual assault bill (July 16, 2013)
Military Sexual Assault Bill Would Reassign Authority (July 21, 2013)
Military Sexual Assault Bill Would Reassign Authority (July 21, 2013)
Hirono Joins Colleagues To Announce Bill To Stop Sexual Assault In The Military (September 25, 2013)
Hirono Calls For Fair Military Justice System For Survivors Of Sexual Assault (November 6, 2013)
Hirono Joins Bipartisan Group of Colleagues to Call for Fair Military Justice System for Sexual Assault Survivors (November 6, 2013)
Group of senators begin push to remove sex assault cases from chain of command (November 6, 2013)
McCaskill, Blunt seek to reform military sexual assault proceeding law (November 12, 2103)
Hirono Speaks In Support Of The Military Justice Improvement Act (November 14, 2013)
Rekha Basu: An epidemic of sexual assault in the military (November 19, 2013)
With Vote Looming, Hirono Urges Support For Military Justice Improvement Act (November 20, 2013)
Gillibrand, McCaskill Resume Military Sexual-Assault Debate (February 6, 2014)
Before Senate Vote, Hirono Urges Colleagues To Pass Military Justice Improvement Act (March 6, 2014)
PBS NewsHour: Hirono Fights For Military Justice Improvement Act (March 7, 2014)
Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand And Claire McCaskill Begin To Take On College Sexual Assault (April 4, 2014)
U.S. Senators Serious About Sexual Assault (April 21, 2014)
Retaliation Against Victims of Military Sexual Assault Still Persists (December 4, 2014)
Senators demand transparency in US military justice system (December 8, 2015)
Pentagon data on child sex crimes in the military doesn’t show full picture (January 4, 2016)
Senator Hirono Calls to Address Military Sexual Assault (May 24, 2016)
Senator Hirono Presses Marine Corps Commandant for Commitment to Address Military Sexual Assualt (March 14, 2017)
Hirono, Gillibrand Re-Introduce Legislation to Address Crisis of Military Sexual Assault (November 16, 2017)
Military Justice Improvement Act Targets Sex Assaults (November 20, 2017)
Defense Department targets Air Force Academy’s use of mental diagnoses to oust cadets who report sexual assault (March 1, 2018)
Pentagon IG opens evaluation of Air Force Academy sexual assault prevention office (March 1, 2018)
Senators Hirono, Gillibrand Reintroduce Legislation to Bring Justice to Survivors of Sexual Assault in the Military (June 14, 2019)
Senate Armed Services Committee Members & House Armed Services Committee Members (June 21, 2019)
Hirono Calls For Fair Military Justice System For Survivors Of Sexual Assault
Hirono Joins Colleagues To Announce Bill To Stop Sexual Assault In The Military
Senator Hirono Calls to Address Military Sexual Assault

Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel: Hearings on ‘Sexual Assault in the Military’ (March 13, 2013)

Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel: Sexual Assault in the Military (Photo: C-SPAN)

Senator Gillibrand’s Opening Statement at Armed Services Subcommittee Hearing Examining Sexual Assaults in the Military

Hearing is Gillibrand’s First As Chair Of Senate Armed Services Subcommittee On Personnel – Has Been Leading The Fight To End Sexual Violence In Military

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand released the following prepared remarks of her opening statement at today’s Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel hearing examining sexual assault in the military:

“It is an honor and privilege to Chair this hearing of the Personnel Subcommittee this morning. I want to thank the Ranking Member of this Subcommittee, Senator Lindsey Graham, for his support and working with me to move this hearing forward as quickly as possible.

“I know that all of our colleagues on the Armed Services Committee share our deep commitment to improving the quality of life of the men and women who serve in our all-volunteer force on active duty, or in the National Guard and Reserves, their families, military retirees, and Department of Defense Civilian personnel. 

“And that is why this hearing today is so important to me personally…and to thousands of servicemembers…and their families across the country.

“The issue of sexual violence in the military is not new. And it has been allowed to go on in the shadows for far too long. The scourge of sexual violence in the military should be intolerable and infuriating to us all.  Our best, brightest, and bravest join our armed forces for all the right reasons – to serve our country, protect our freedom, and keep America safe.

“The United States has the best military in the world and the overwhelmingly vast majority of our brave men and women serving in uniform do so honorably and bravely. But there is also no doubt that we have men and women in uniform who are committing acts of sexual violence and should no longer be allowed to serve.  

“Too often, women and men have found themselves in the fight of their lives not in the theater of war – but in their own ranks, among their own brothers and sisters, and ranking officers, in an environment that enables sexual assault. 

“And after an assault occurs, an estimated 19,000 sexual assaults happened in 2011 alone according to the Defense Department’s own estimates…some of these victims have to fight all over again with every ounce of their being just to have their voice heard…their assailant brought to any measure of justice… and the disability claims they deserve fulfilled. Congress would be derelict in its duty of oversight if we just shrugged our shoulders at these 19,000 sons and daughters…husbands and wives…mothers and fathers…and did nothing. We simply have to do better by them.

“When brave men and women volunteer to serve in our military they know the risks involved. But sexual assault at the hands of a fellow service member should never be one of them.  

“Because not only does sexual assault cause unconscionable harm to the victim — sexual violence is reported to be the leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder among women veterans — but it destabilizes our military, threatens unit cohesion and national security. Beyond the enormous human costs both psychologically and physically, this crisis is costing us significant assets – making us weaker both morally and militarily.   

“Already, this Committee and the Pentagon took some first steps on this issue as part of last year’s National Defense Authorization bill that President Obama signed into law. While obviously our work is not done, I am hopeful that we can build on these initial changes which include:

Ensuring that all convicted sex offenders in the military are processed for discharge or dismissal from the Armed Forces regardless of which branch they serve in;

Reserving case-disposition authority for only high-ranking officers in sexual assault cases;

Pushing the Pentagon to lift the combat ban that prevents women from officially serving in many of the combat positions that can lead to significant promotion opportunities. By opening the door for more qualified women to excel in our military, we will have increased diversity in top leadership positions, improving response from leadership when it comes to preventing and responding to sexual violence;

And an amendment introduced by my colleague Senator Jeanne Shaheen and based on my legislation, the MARCH Act, means that troops who become pregnant as a result of an act of rape no longer have to pay out of pocket to have those pregnancies terminated. 

“Concerning our first panel of witnesses, I want to salute each of you for your courage today in telling your very painful and personal stories. It is my hope and belief that by committing this selfless act you are encouraging others to step forward and are also helping to prevent other crimes from going unpunished.

“We have a duty to you, and the thousands of victims you represent, to examine whether the military justice system is the most effective and fairest system it can be.  

“Despite some very dedicated JAG officers, I do not believe the current system adequately meets that standard.  The statistics on prosecution rates for sexual assaults in the military are devastating.  Of the 2,439 unrestricted reports filed in 2011 for sexual violence cases – only 240 proceeded to trial. Nearly 70 percent of these reports were for rape, aggravated sexual assault or non-consensual sodomy.

“A system where less than 1 out of 10 reported perpetrators are held accountable for their alleged crimes is not a system that is working. And that is just reported crimes. The Defense Department itself puts the real number closer to 19,000! A system where in reality less than 2 out of 100 alleged perpetrators are faced with any trial at all is clearly inadequate and unacceptable.

“My view is that emphasizing institutional accountability and the prosecution of cases is needed to create a real deterrent of criminal behavior. The system needs to encourage victims that coming forward and participating in their perpetrator’s prosecution is not detrimental to their safety or future, and will result in justice being done.  Because currently, according to the DOD, 47 percent of service members are too afraid to report their assaults, because of fear of retaliation, harm or punishment. Too many victims do not feel that justice is likely or even possible.

“We need to take a close look at our military justice system, and we need to be asking the hard questions, with all options on the table, including moving this issue outside of the chain of command, so we can get closer to a true zero tolerance reality in the Armed Forces. The case we have all read about at Aviano Air Base is shocking, and the outcome should compel all of us to take the necessary action to ensure that justice is swift and certain, not rare and fleeting.   

“I had the opportunityto press Secretary Hagel on the issue of sexual violence in the military during his confirmation hearing. Secretary Hagel responded by saying, ‘I agree it is not good enough just to say zero tolerance. The whole chain of command needs to be accountable for this.’

“I could not agree more. I was very pleased with the Secretary’s public statement earlier this week that he is open to considering changes to the military justice system as well as legislation to ‘ensure the effectiveness of our responses to the crime of sexual assault.’

“It is with this spirit as our guide that I look forward to hearing from our witnesses.

“After Ranking Member Graham makes his opening remarks, we will hear testimony from my colleague from California, Senator Barbara Boxer who has been a leading voice on this issue. In last year’s Defense bill she successfully included an amendment that prohibits any individual who is convicted of a felony sexual assault from being issued a waiver to join the military.

“We will then have the following witnesses who have either been the victims of sexual assault while serving in the military, or are very knowledgeable advocates for addressing the issue of sexual assaults in the military:

Anu Bhagwati is Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Service Women’s Action Network. Anu is a former Captain and Company Commander, she served as a Marine officer from 1999 to 2004. While serving, Anu faced discrimination and harassment as a woman in the military, and has borne direct witness to the military’s handling of sexual violence.

BriGette McCoy, former Specialist in the U.S. Army. BriGette served in the U.S. Army from 1987 to 1991. She was just eighteen years old when she signed up to serve her country in the first Gulf War. While stationed in Germany from 1988 to 1991, she was sexually assaulted by a non-commanding officer. 

Rebekah Havrilla, former Sergeant in the U.S. Army. Rebekah served in the U.S. Army from 2004 to 2008. She was the only female member of a bomb squad in eastern Afghanistan and was attacked by a colleague at Salerno Forward Operating Base near the Pakistani border during her last week in the country in 2007.

Brian Lewis, former Petty Officer Third Class, US. Navy. Brian enlisted in the U.S. Navy in June of 1997. During his tour aboard USS Frank Cable (AS-40), he was raped by a superior non-commissioned officer and forced to go back out to sea after the assault. 

“I encourage you to express your views candidly and to tell us what is working and what is not working.  Help us to understand what we can do to address this unacceptable problem of sexual assaults in the military. 

“Later this afternoon at 2:00 p.m., we will have a third panel of witnesses from the Department of Defense, and the military services, including the Coast Guard. I want to acknowledge that many of those witnesses are here this morning to listen to the critically important testimony from our first and second panels and I would like to thank them for their participation.”

Sexual Assault in the Military Senate Hearing:

Senator Gillibrand’s opening statement at the SASC Committee Hearing on Sexual Assault in the Military (March 13, 2013)
Survivors Share Sexual Assault Experiences in the Military (March 13, 2013)

Related Links:
Sexual Assault in the Military, Part 1 (C-SPAN)
Sexual Assault in the Military, Part 2 (C-SPAN)
Senator Gillibrand’s Opening Statement at Armed Services Subcommittee Hearing Examining Sexual Assaults in the Military
Gillibrand Opening Statement at SASC Hearing on Military Sexual Assault
Survivors Share Sexual Assault Experiences in the Military [Video]
Air Force TSgt. Jennifer Norris Testified Before the House Armed Services Committee in Washington DC (January 23, 2013)
Defense Department Rescinds Direct Combat Exclusion Rule; Services to Expand Integration of Women into Previously Restricted Occupations and Units (January 24, 2013)
CBS News: Sexual assault victim, “The system is rigged” (May 16, 2013)
Stars and Stripes: ‘White House, Congress bear down on military sexual assault’ (May 16, 2013)
S. 967: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 – U.S. Senate Voting Record (March 6, 2014)
Vox: The War in Congress Over Rape in the Military, Explained (June 8, 2016)