McCaskill On Sequester, Military Trials

Mar 14, 2013

Senator Claire McCaskill is introducing two new legislation to congress members.

The first bill would spread the effects of the sequester to Congress members.

The Missouri Democrat told reporters Wednesday that some federal employees may see upward of 20% of their pay cut through sequester furloughs. She and other senators believe the effects should be shared.

“I think it’s important that those of us who can’t get in agreement about a more thoughtful way to impose cuts, that we should feel some of that pain, too,” McCaskill said. “And so Senator [Bill] Nelson and I have sponsored a bill that would require us to to ‘be furloughed’ in terms of the amount of pay we receive in line with what may happen with federal employees.”

McCaskill noted that if the bill does not pass, she will personally cut her pay proportionally to mirror other federal employee furloughs should they happen.

She plans to donate the money to a charity or the U.S. treasury, with the treasury as the most likely candidate.

The second legislation would limit the authority of military generals to overturn jury decisions in cases of rape and sexual assault.

In her weekly phone conference Wednesday, McCaskill reported that the recent overturning of the jury decision by Lieutenant General Craig Franklin in an Air Force assault case was a huge setback for the branch.

The Missouri Democrat said the authority to do so is outdated and needs to be amended. According to McCaskill, such power is ridiculous because generals are not present in court like civilian judges that have similar control.

“This is a general who is reading a transcript, who wasn’t even in the courtroom, who has no legal training, and he did this against the advice of his legal advisors,” McCaskill said. “That is a far cry from a judge who has sat in the courtroom and witnessed the entire trial.”

Senator McCaskill hopes disciplinary action is taken in this case and expects to see changes in policies soon.