Anna Paulina Luna just introduced her first bill. Here’s what it does.
U.S. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna is best known for her combative brand of conservative politics. She helped hold up the election of Kevin McCarthy as U.S. House speaker. She has been an outspoken skeptic of giving Ukraine more military aid. She’s got beef with the Washington Post.
But the St. Petersburg Republican is working across the aisle for her first sponsored bill. Along with a series of Democratic co-sponsors, including U.S. Rep. Jared Moskowitz of Broward County — another freshman in Congress — Luna has introduced a bill aimed at addressing sexual assault in the military.
The two-page “Stop Our Sexual Assault in the Military” bill, filed Wednesday, would mandate that service members undergo one day of self-defense training aimed at combating sexual assault every month. The measure would not add any additional days of required training to an active duty service member’s schedule.
“When I served in the military, I witnessed firsthand the lack of self defense and combat training provided to our service members. Our troops put their lives on the line for us – the least we can do is to equip them to defend themselves,” Luna, a former Air Force airfield manager, said in a statement.
The Pentagon estimated that nearly 36,000 incidents of sexual assault or unwanted sexual contact happened in the military ranks in 2021. Just 7,260 of those incidents were reported.
In total, an estimated8.4% of active duty women and 1.5% of active duty men experienced sexual assault or unwanted sexual contact in 2021, the Pentagon reported. Although those numbers were the highest in more than a decade, the Pentagon said it was not possible to compare the 2021 figures with those from years past because of changes in reporting methodology.
Luna’s office said the bill, H.R. 1434, does not yet have a Senate sponsor.
Published to Tampa Bay Times.