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  • Joint Explanatory Statement to Accompany the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014

    by Representative Niki Tsongas

    Posted on 2013-12-12

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    Read More about Joint Explanatory Statement to Accompany the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014

    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 attorney.



    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.

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