Love amendment to address military sexual assault included in House-passed appropriations bill

The House of Representatives passed the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2019, which provides funding for Department of Defense activities in the coming year. 

Among the provisions included was a bipartisan amendment introduced by Rep. Mia Love and Reps. Ann Kuster (D-NH) and Speier (D-CA) to appropriate funds to investigate “collateral misconduct” – violations of military rules committed by sexual assault survivors, which are often minor offenses. Despite the comparatively inconsequential nature of offenses, collateral misconduct is “one of the most significant barriers” to service members reporting sexual assaults, according to the Department of Defense’s own policy, which has been in place since 2004.

“Once again, I am proud to stand with my colleagues to work for victims of sexual assault,” Rep. Love said. “I sincerely hope that our amendment ultimately leads to a safer environment for the heroic men and women of the military who protect us daily. No one should fear sexual assault, let alone the repercussions of reporting it.”

A similar amendment was included in the National Defense Authorization Act, which passed last month. The Defense Appropriations Act now appropriates funds to implement it. The appropriations bill passed with bipartisan support and granted a pay raise for the military. Congresswoman Love voted yes.