Showing where his priorities lie, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan) Blocked an attempt to vote on a bill that would address sexual assault in the military – to instead push for more sanctions on Iran.
A report has estimated there to be at least 26,000 men and women who are sexually assaulted every year in the armed forces. Democrats, specifically Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), have been feverishly pushing for legislation that will curb the problem.
But this Monday, Moran insisted that a measure to level tougher sanctions on Iran make an appearance on the floor along with the sexual assault bills. Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev) outright objected.
“I’m terribly disappointed that my Republican friends are trying to turn this vital national security concern into a partisan issue by trying to inject [it] into a setting where it’s clearly not relevant,” Reid said.
Senator Gillibrand didn’t pull any punches when addressing Moran’s actions:
“Anyone who has been listening has heard over and over again from survivors of sexual assault in the military how the deck has been stacked against them,” Gillibrand said. “And for over two full decades, the Defense Department has been unable to uphold its continued failed promises of ‘zero tolerance’ for sexual assault.”
“But when the Senate can’t even agree to debate the one reform that survivors have consistently said is needed to solve this crisis, we are telling those victims that the deck is stacked against them right here in the Senate, too,” she added.
A spokesperson for Moran responded, saying, “Sen. Moran supports having votes on the Gillibrand and McCaskill amendments, but he does not believe Sen. Reid should be allowed to pick and choose which amendments blocked from consideration during debate on NDAA [the National Defense Authorization Act] receive a vote. Sen. Moran believes preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons capability is of such importance it also deserves a vote on the floor.”
h/t: The Huffington Post