- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 16, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Sen. Joni Ernst has voted against a measure that would leave military commanders out of the decision to prosecute sexual assault cases in the military.

The vote on the defense policy bill amendment came Tuesday. Sponsor Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, believes recent reforms have not been enough to improve the way sexual assault cases are handled by the military.

While the vote was 50 to 49 in favor, the amendment needed 60 votes to pass.

Ernst, a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard, said during her campaign that she would work with Gillibrand on this issue.

In a statement, Ernst said more time is needed to see how recent reforms are working. She said she would continue to work on this with Gillibrand and others.

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