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Kaine's Remarks at Personnel Subcommittee Mark-Up of FY2014 National Defense Authorization Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, delivered the following opening remarks today at the Subcommittee’s markup of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014:

“I want to commend the chair and the ranking for the work into the mark and especially clearing through so many amendments, these are important amendments. We’ll have a vigorous debate tomorrow, I’m proud to support reporting it forward. I also, on the sexual assault issue, was stunned by the testimony, I’m glad the chairwoman held her first hearing as a committee Chair on this issue in March and then the hearing week additionally laid out the need to solve this problem in a vigorous way; we’ll talk about a number of the proposals.

“The Chairwoman has done a good job of summarizing those I also have some concerns about the issue of the reporting within chain of command or setting up a separate mechanism, both in terms of the mechanism that might send to the chain of command, but also in terms whether we want to explore removing from the chain of command issues that are not sexual misconduct related given all the testimony has really been focused on that, but we do have to tackle it in a vigorous way.

“I think the Chairwoman’s leadership has been important, I think it’s been important to compelling a recognition among all of us that we need to have this discussion in open, at the full committee hearing, which we will do over the course of the next couple days, I think that’s positive, and I look forward to working with my committee members in that full forum to find the right solution.

“I would like to add one additional thank you which is the Chairman’s markup includes a number of provisions from my first bill, the Troop Talent Act, that we’ve been working on employment and assistance to vets. I want to thank you, and I’m glad to see credentialing have focus and I appreciate your support.”