That bill, which would take decisions about sexual assault prosecutions out of the hands of military commanders and put them in the hands of prosecutors, needs 60 votes to break a filibuster and currently has 55 public supporters, according to Gillibrand, including 10 Republicans. The New York Democrat continues to actively lobby her colleagues, aided by Sen. Barbara Boxer:
Boxer gave a floor speech Wednesday night challenging opponents not to “filibuster justice.”This is the rare case where a Democratic bill with 10 Republican votes may well fall short, since some Democrats, McCaskill included, oppose the Military Justice Improvement Act, wanting to leave prosecution decisions within the military chain of command. Similarly, the list of possibly undecided senators Gillibrand is targeting is bipartisan.
“Anyone who does that ought to lose some sleep over it, frankly,” she said. “Because I’ll tell you, if we get very close but can’t have an up-or-down vote, but we get in the high 50s, this change is coming. But why not make the change now?”