For Immediate Release
March 6, 2014
DC – Bill Silverfarb (202) 225-3531 / (202) 957-4340 cell
CA – Katrina Rill (650) 342-0300 / (650) 208-7441 cell
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswomen Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo/Redwood City) issued the following statement today after the Senate voted 55-45 on the Military Justice Improvement Act, bipartisan legislation authored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand that removes the chain of command from prosecuting military sexual assault cases and other crimes. The bill needed 60 votes to pass.
“I congratulate Senator Gillibrand and Boxer in gathering bi-partisan support and the majority of the Senate in a historic vote to fundamentally reform the military justice system. I also want to thank the survivors who have been brave enough to come forward to tell their stories and show why the current system is broken.
“I have always said that this will be a marathon and not a sprint. Until we fix this system, the fight will continue. The question is not if we will fundamentally reform this system, but when.
“Support for reform is only growing, with the majority of Americans now supporting leaving legal decisions to legal experts. I will fight with every fiber of my being to get the House to act this year on what has become a defining issue of this Congress.”
Congresswoman Speier is author of the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention (STOP) Act, which takes sexual assault cases out the chain of command and places jurisdiction in a newly created, autonomous Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office comprised of civilian and military experts. The bipartisan-supported legislation has 157 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. Speier has shared the stories of 29 military sexual assault survivors on the House floor. Click hereto learn more about the Congresswoman’s efforts to combat the epidemic of military sexual assault.
Congresswoman Jackie Speier is proud to represent California’s 14th Congressional District, which includes parts of San Francisco and San Mateo counties. She is a senior member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Armed Services Committee (HASC). In her role on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the Congresswoman is a ranking member on the Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Health Care, and Entitlements and serves on the Subcommittee on National Security. She serves on the Readiness Subcommittee and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on HASC and is a member of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. Congresswoman Speier was appointed to serve as a Senior Whip for the Democratic caucus in the 113th Congress.