McCain Doesn’t Want to Get Between Gillibrand and McCaskill on Military Sexual Assault

Posted August 16, 2013 at 8:00am

Sen. John McCain says the debate over handling military sexual assault is likely to play out on the Senate floor but that he doesn’t to be between two female senators on the issue, writes Roll Call’s Niels Lesniewski.

“I hope that everybody takes this in the right way: I think it’s helpful that we have like 20 women senators in the United States Senate, and I hope that doesn’t mean that I’m saying that I’m insensitive, but it’s helpful for the Senate to have that kind of input that we are getting from many of our women senator colleagues,” McCain said Tuesday. “By the way, two leading individuals — Sen. McCaskill of Missouri and Sen. Gillibrand are on opposite sides on this issue, and I— I try not to get in the middle of that one.”

Later Lesniewski adds, McCain’s comments suggest that an open floor debate looms, in which each side will make arguments to their colleagues and in the media. The defense authorization has yet to reach the Senate floor, and it seems unlikely there will be enough session days in the month of September for a full debate before the new fiscal year starts on Oct. 1.