For Immediate Release
December 20, 2013
DC – Bill Silverfarb (202) 225-3531 / (202) 957-4340 cell
CA – Katrina Rill (650) 342-0300 / (650) 208-7441 cell
SAN MATEO - Congresswoman Jackie Speier, (D-San Francisco/San Mateo/Redwood City) issued the following statement today in response to President Obama’s calling for a review of sexual assault in the military. The President directed Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey to report to him about the military’s progress on resolving the crisis by Dec. 1, 2014.
“The public and many in Congress now understand that the chain of command is the central challenge to addressing sexual assault, and we must have a full and vigorous debate and vote in Congress. Every day that we neglect to fundamentally reform the military justice system, 71 men and women that serve and protect us are raped or sexually assaulted. Survivors of these heinous crimes expect and deserve us to act now.
“I am encouraged by the President’s commitment and focus to address the systemic issue of sexual assault in our military and look forward to continuing to work with the President and Secretary of Defense on this issue. The President made it clear that he demands a fair and just military judicial system for service members where punishments fit the crime. I believe that this requires leaving legal decisions to legal experts. I will continue to fight for this with every fiber of my being.”
On April 17, 2013, Congresswoman Speier re-introduced the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act (STOP Act), which would take the reporting, oversight, investigation and victim care of sexual assaults out of the hands of the military’s normal chain of command and place jurisdiction in the newly created, autonomous Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office comprised of civilian and military experts. The bipartisan STOP Act has 148 co-sponsors.
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.