Sen. Paul sees 'no reason' conservatives shouldn’t support bill to curb sexual assault in military

07/16/2013 01:52 PM

Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday added some conservative heft to a bill pushed by New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand aimed at addressing unreported sexual assaults in the military.

Paul and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, announced their support at a press conference about the bill, which would require independent military prosecutors to handle sexual assault complaints rather than the chain of command.

Gillibrand said the bill is not a partisan idea but instead a good idea and thanked Paul and Cruz for joining the bipartisan efforts to curb sexual assault in the military.

Paul said he sees no reason why conservatives should not be able to support this bill.

“Everyone says they are against sexual assault. Why don’t we if there appears to be some deterrence to victims reporting the crime, why don’t we fix it?” Paul said. “So I see no reason not to fix it and I am glad to be a part of it if I can.”

Military leaders, however, have voiced concern that the bill would undermine the authority of commanders.

And Paul took some criticism from the right for offering his support to the measure. Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard and conservative pundit, wrote that even the Obama administration “thinks Gillibrand’s proposal is a bad idea.”

“… Is this just media grandstanding,” he went on to write of Paul and Cruz, “like their last bold intervention in national security policy, when they raised the alarm about the dire threat of drone attacks on Americans sitting in cafes?”

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