Senate Will Debate Sexual-Assault Legislation by Mid-February

The announcement comes as Harry Reid on Monday outlined the Senate’s schedule for almost the next month.

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 17: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) (C) waits for the Senate subway after a vote December 17, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The Senate has passed a cloture vote to clear the way for a final vote of the Ryan-Murray Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013.
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Jordain Carney
Jan. 27, 2014, 1:05 p.m.

The Sen­ate over the next month will tackle le­gis­la­tion deal­ing with sexu­al as­sault in the mil­it­ary, Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Harry Re­id an­nounced Monday.

“The Sen­ate will also de­bate le­gis­la­tion to ef­fect­ively pre­vent and pun­ish sexu­al as­sault in the na­tion’s Armed Forces,” Re­id said from the Sen­ate floor.

Sens. Kirsten Gil­librand and Claire Mc­Caskill cur­rently have du­el­ing pro­pos­als on how to in­crease safe­guards for sexu­al-as­sault vic­tims. Gil­librand’s pro­pos­al would re­move the chain of com­mand’s power to de­cide wheth­er sexu­al-as­sault cases are pro­sec­uted.

It’s a move Mc­Caskill — and lead­ers at the Pentagon — have cam­paigned hard against.

Re­id didn’t spe­cify which bill sen­at­ors would take on, or if both would be de­bated. He came out in sup­port of Gil­librand’s pro­pos­al in Novem­ber.

Sexu­al-as­sault le­gis­la­tion is just one of sev­er­al is­sues the Nevada Demo­crat wants to cross off his list be­fore the Sen­ate has its next state work peri­od, sched­uled to start Feb. 17.

Mem­bers will also con­sider “a num­ber of crit­ic­al na­tion­al se­cur­ity and ju­di­cial nom­in­a­tions.” The Sen­ate Home­land Se­cur­ity and Gov­ern­ment­al Af­fairs Com­mit­tee ap­proved John Roth’s nom­in­a­tion to be the next in­spect­or gen­er­al for the Home­land Se­cur­ity De­part­ment earli­er this month.

Roth’s nom­in­a­tion still awaits a vote be­fore the full Sen­ate.

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