WASHINGTON (AP) - Lawmakers are pressing forward with legislation aimed at stemming an epidemic of sexual assaults in the military.
The House is scheduled to vote next week on a defense policy bill that would take away the power of military commanders to overturn convictions in rape and assault cases.
The legislation also would require that anyone found guilty of a sex-related crime receive a punishment that includes, at a minimum, a dismissal from military service or a dishonorable discharge.
The measures were approved late Wednesday by the House Armed Services Committee, setting the stage for the full House vote.
Republicans and Democrats on the committee expressed outrage over the Defense Department's inability to eradicate sexual assaults in the ranks and overwhelmingly supported the provisions.
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