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Senate kills military sex assault measure

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Bowing to pressure from the Pentagon, the Senate has killed a measure that would have changed the way the military handles sexual assault cases.

The bill, which New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has been championing for the past year, fell five votes short of moving forward.

Last year more than five thousand cases of sexual assault were reported in the military.

The Gillibrand bill would have stripped unit commanders from deciding whether or not to prosecute cases because she believes that keeps victims from moving forward.

Her opponents disagree.

"If you don't have the commanders as part of the solution, they are part of the problem, and I think we can hold them accountable," said Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill led the effort to filibuster the Gillibrand bill. 

McCaskill has her own legislation which keeps prosecution within the chain of command, but allows for more checks and balances.

The Senate is scheduled to vote on that bill Monday.