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Gillibrand Sexual Assault Bill Dropped From Defense Authorization Agreement

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"We have been assured by the Majority Leader that we will get a separate vote," Glen Caplin, a spokesman for Gillibrand, told TPM. "The Senator will not go away, she will keep fighting to protect our brave men and women in uniform and to strengthen our military."

Before Thanksgiving, Gillibrand filed her Military Justice Improvement Act as a standalone bill that can bypass committee and be fast-tracked to the floor, her office said, pointing out that "don't ask, don't tell" passed the same way. Her office counts 53 senators in support of the bill.

Even if the legislation passes the Senate, it would be a heavy lift in the House, especially without a vehicle like the NDAA to attach it to.

Citing the military's notoriously poor record when it comes to cracking down on rape, Gillibrand's bill would set up an independent prosecutor's office to deal with sexual assault and other crimes that aren't unique to the military.