New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is on a quest to extricate the handling of sexual assault issues from the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). It is her belief that this singular classification of crimes cannot be handled through the normal chain of command structure the military has kept in place for generations. Her bill, known as the Military Sexual Assault Bill, would have non-military law enforcement handle those cases. Backing up her bill is none other than Texas firebrand Ted Cruz. The 2016 GOP presidential candidate believes that Gillibrand is on target with this bill.
The US military deeply opposes the bill and wants to preserve the UCMJ in its current form. The president concurs with that assessment. This caused the opposition to Gillibrand’s reform bill to be bipartisan. Last year, she attempted to include her legislation with the defense appropriation bill. This would have made it much harder for the president to veto. In the end, the bill came up five votes short.