Joint Explanatory Statement to Accompany the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014by Representative Jackie Speier
Posted on 2013-12-12
SPEIER. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Chairman McKeon, Ranking
Member Smith, Chairman Levin, and Ranking Member Inhofe for including
my amendment with Representative Coffman to expand whistleblower
protections for survivors of military sexual assault in this year's
National Defense Authorization Act. As Congress looks to change the
culture and to prevent sexual assaults and other waste, fraud, and
abuse in the military, all service members need to know that they have
protections for providing information to stem abuses. The right to a
guaranteed due process day in administrative court is the foundation
for meaningful reform.
Subsection f(3)(B) in these expanded protections provides that if the Secretary does not make a finding of illegal retaliation and order corrective action, the case shall be forwarded to the appropriate Board of Corrections for Military Records to receive a mandatory administrative due process hearing, ``when appropriate.'' There should not be any confusion about this provision. It is always appropriate to forward the case for hearing if jurisdiction exists for whistleblower retaliation alleged in the service member's complaint. It is only inappropriate if another provision of law provides the relevant rights, procedures and remedies to resolve the complaint, such as when the alleged misconduct is sexual harassment per se as opposed to whistleblower retaliation for disclosing sexual harassment.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from California (Mr. McKeon) that the House suspend the rules and agree to the resolution, H. Res. 441.
The question was taken.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.