Arizona Sen. Martha McSally visited Today in AZ to touch on her efforts to make a difference in the military about sexual assault. She also talked about immigration and health care policies.
On sexual assault in the military
Sen. McSally recently revealed that she was sexually assaulted by a superior while serving in the Air Force, and now she hopes to inspire survivors as well as hold the military superiors more accountable on the topic.
She said, “1 of 3 women and 1 of 4 men, according to the CDC, have been assaulted in their lifetime." She said that’s why she feels, as a public figure, it’s important to share her experiences.
“Since then, the military has really sprang into action at my demand that they need to a new level to address the issue. They formed a task force I asked them to form. They held the summit, with all the service secretaries and chiefs, talking about routing out sexual assault across universities and military academies," McSally said.
McSally said that by the time they mark up the defense bill, there are major improvements needed, not just incremental stuff.
“They’re working pretty hard, in a way that I’ve not seen them in my lifetime,” she added.
She said commanders need to be more "responsible and accountable to stop this from happening and to make sure justice is served."
"They need to step up and do more; which is what my charge is,” McSally said.
Immigration is a topic of interest in our state, and McSally held a meeting Monday to discuss the “migrant crisis” on the southern border.
“We’ve seen unprecedented numbers of those crossing illegally and, because of loopholes in our laws, it's just drawing more and more people," she said.
Hundreds of migrants seeking asylum have been released from immigration detentions while they wait for a court date.
“It’s overwhelming local communities, elected officials, the non-governmental organizations that are trying to help these people. But, ultimately, our part is on Congress, we've got to close those legal loopholes that are actually drawing the cartels to recruit more people to take this dangerous journey,” McSally said.
Health care policies
With the Trump administration announcing the Affordable Care Act will be repealed and replaced with a new bill by 2020, McSally weighs in on the topic.
“What I’ve been focusing on is making sure people have affordable health insurance and bringing down the cost if there are more choices. The Democrats agree that Obamacare is not working, which is why they’re supporting government-run health care and getting rid of private insurance as you hear some of the presidential contenders. I’m focusing on what can we do that provides more options, brings down the cost of prescription drugs, what’s best for them," she said.