07.30.133:30 PM ET

McCaskill vs. Gillibrand on Military Sex Assault

The issue of how to handle rape in the military is dividing senators.

Sexual assault in the military is still a very real problem—diving senators, reformers, and now putting two Democratic senators on the Senate Armed Services Committee in different corners. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) is promoting a proposal, backed by Armed Service Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), that would keep assault in the military within the chain of command—despite a bad record of dealing with the problem. But Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand  (D-N.Y.) has a plan to remove sexual assault from the chain of command and set up a separate prosecutor’s office to deal with issues of sexual assault such as rape. Her plan is supported by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), but also Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas). McCaskill’s plan passed 17-9 in committee last month—and Gillibrand aims to offer her plan as an amendment when the bill comes up this fall.