Heck's No Tolerance Act Included as Amendment to Defense Authorization Bill
Amendment ensures those who violate rules would be separated from service
WASHINGTON - Just a few days after introducing the No Tolerance Act, legislation aimed at protecting the newest members of the armed forces from being subjected to inappropriate sexual contact or relationships during the recruiting and training process, Congressman Joe Heck (NV-03) today announced that the bill was added as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014. The amendment was approved as part of an en bloc amendment package. Rep. Heck's Iron Dome US production line amendment also passed. Rep. Heck's No Tolerance amendment comes amid growing concerns over the increase and prevalence of sexual assault within military ranks. The NDAA for FY2014 passed the House Armed Services Committee 59-2 with Rep. Heck voting in favor of the bill.
"An inappropriate relationship carried out under the color of authority has no place in the United States military," Rep. Heck said. “The recent publicity surrounding several high profile cases of unwanted sexual contact underscores what we have known for far too long: inappropriate sexual contact in the military continues to be a problem. The No Tolerance amendment sends a strong message that inappropriate sexual relationships between superiors and entry-level military members will not be tolerated. Hopefully with laws like this on the books we can change the culture and reverse the trends that have resulted in far too many cases of unwanted sexual contact within the military."
The No Tolerance Act, which Rep. Heck introduced with Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10), requires the establishment of uniform regulations defining inappropriate and prohibited relationships between military personnel in supervisory roles and new members of the military. It would also require that any military personnel found in violation of those regulations to, at minimum, be processed for separation from the service.
Congressman Heck, a Colonel in the US Army Reserve and military health care provider, has seen both the physical and devastating mental effects a sexual assault or inappropriate contact can have on service members. That experience has shaped his efforts to not only make sure that future assaults are prevented, but that cases of sexual assault and unwanted, inappropriate contact are properly prosecuted.