UPDATED 9:03 AM PT — Wednesday, May 15, 2019
A GOP lawmaker and veteran is set to introduce a bill, which would reform how the military handles sexual assault claims. On Tuesday, Arizona Senator Martha McSally announced she will unveil her proposal as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. The legislation looks to make sexual harassment a stand-alone offense under the military’s criminal justice system.
McSally may be the perfect person for the job as she was the first female pilot to ever fly a combat mission. Additionally, the Arizona lawmaker revealed earlier in the year that she herself is a survivor of sexual assault, with the culprit being a superior officer while she was in the Air Force.
McSally’s proposal seems to line up with the plans from the Pentagon. Earlier this month, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said sexual harassment would be made a criminal offense as recommended by a task force formed at McSally’s request. She said the time has come for major changes.
The Senate Armed Services Committee is expected to hold a closed-door mark up of the authorization act next week, where McSally’s proposal could be included in the initial draft or as a separate amendment.