Joint Explanatory Statement to Accompany the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014by Representative Niki Tsongas
Posted on 2013-12-12
TSONGAS. Mr. Speaker, Congress has come together every year for
half a century to pass the NDAA and support our servicemembers. This
NDAA includes the BE SAFE Act, which it was my honor to work on with
Representative Mike Turner. It takes significant steps towards
combating military sexual assault, an egregious crime that exists
across the services. The bill makes historic changes to commander
authority, removing the ability to overturn a jury verdict. It mandates
a dishonorable discharge for those convicted of sexual assault and
makes sure that every victim of military sexual assault gets an
This NDAA is necessary to require the Pentagon to continue important sexual assault prevention measures, such as the successful Special Victims Counsel program that could fall by the wayside if not mandated by law. It also includes many other reforms advanced on a bipartisan basis by many other members of the committee.
While we have more work to do, I want to thank Chairman McKeon and Ranking Member Smith for their dedication in getting an NDAA done, and Representatives Turner, Davis, Wilson, and the many others who worked on a bipartisan basis to address the great challenge of sexual assault in the military. I urge the House and Senate to pass this important bill.
Mr. McKEON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Alabama (Mr. Rogers), the chairman of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee.