Congressman Turner Continues to Push for Military Sexual Assault Reforms in Compromised FY2014 NDAA
Turner and Tsongas Language Continues to be the Baseline for Sexual Assault Reform
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Mike Turner, Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, commends House and Senate Armed Services Committees colleagues on their continued efforts to pass the FY2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). With the 2014 calendar year quickly approaching and the Senate currently in a stall, Committee leaders from both bodies have negotiated a comprehensive version of the bill intended to move through Congress this week.
This year, Congressman Turner has continued his work with the House and Senate Armed Services Committees and the Military Sexual Assault Prevention Caucus to create further legislation to combat the issue of sexual assault within the military and ensure both that victims are cared for and that perpetrators are brought to justice and held accountable. Specifically, during the 113th Congressional Session, Congressman Turner along with co-sponsor Rep. Niki Tsongas introduced the BE SAFE Act and the Article 32 Reform Act as well as the No Tolerance Act with Rep. Joe Heck. Most of the provisions from these three bills have been incorporated into the House version of the FY2014 NDAA.
“These legislative initiatives are unprecedented and powerful steps toward the eradication of sexual assault in the military,” said Congressman Turner. “These substantial bi-partisan reforms will enhance the rights of victims, strengthen military whistleblower protection laws, improve the ways in which the services respond to a sexual assault report, and ensure that perpetrators are appropriately held accountable and prosecuted for their crimes.”
The provision in the FY2014 NDAA will:
“These significant reforms offer considerable momentum toward changing the deep-rooted and flawed culture that has allowed sex crimes to pervade our armed forces,” Turner continues. “But they will not be the last. This bill is not a ceiling but rather a robust foundation upon which we will continue to build.”
“I am very optimistic that the negotiated NDAA, which both the House and Senate Armed Services Committee have put a lot of time and effort into, will receive a swift vote in both chambers,” said Turner. “It is critical that we pass this legislation in order to provide authority and funding for Department of Defense activities. Additionally, this bill takes steps to reform the UCMJ in order to better protect our service members against violent sex related crimes.”