Senate votes to require sexual harassment prevention programs in military

The amendment passed by unanimous consent as part of a managers’ package shortly before the Senate left for the weekend last Friday. The Senate is considering the National Defense Authorization Act, S. 3254, which funds the U.S. military and its operations. A vote on the motion to end debate on the bill is scheduled for shortly after 5:30 p.m. Monday.

Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiThis week: Shutdown deadline looms over Congress Week ahead: Key court date for climate rule; Fight over Flint aid Week ahead: Spending fight shifts from Zika to Flint MORE (D-Md.) co-sponsored the amendment.

Toomey said the amendment was important because more needs to be done to protect service members from sexual harassment in their workplace.

"I strongly support this amendment, which would help ensure our armed forces are protecting our service members from sexual harassment,” Toomey said in a statement Friday. “I have already introduced legislation to address sexual assault in Veterans Affairs facilities, and we must do more to ensure the safety and protection of our service members and veterans.”

Klobuchar’s amendment was one of several passed in the defense bill that addresses sexual harassment and assault in the military — something Department of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has made a priority.