Friday, June 14th the House approved (315-108) their version of the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill, HR 1960, authorizes $544.4 billion for DOD, Department of Energy and $85.8 billion for overseas contingency operations.
Among the key provisions were several changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) with regard to sexual assaults in the military. One would strip commanders of their authority to dismiss or reduce guilty verdicts in sexual assault cases and another would lift the five-year statute of limitations on assaults thereby allowing prosecution of these cases at any time.
The bill would also provide guidelines to commanders on the temporary reassignment or removal of someone who has been accused of committing a sexual assault and requires victim’s counsels to be specially trained to provide legal assistance to victims.
Senator Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Ranking Member Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., announced June 14th that their committee had also completed its markup of the National Defense Authorization Act – See Senate version here…
On May 7, 2013 President Obama said he has “no tolerance” for sexual assault in the military.
“I expect consequences,” Obama said. “So I don’t just want more speeches or awareness programs or training, but ultimately folks look the other way. If we find out somebody’s engaging in this, they’ve got to be held accountable – prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period.”
- Why Senator Gillibrand is right about military sexual assault (tv.msnbc.com)
2014 NDAA Passes the House, With Many Amendments (lawfareblog.com)