The House is heading toward passage of a defense bill that reflects the outrage among lawmakers over the growing number of sexual assaults in the military.
The legislation expected to be completed Friday includes a measure requiring a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison for a member of the armed services convicted of rape or sexual assault in a military court.
Republican congressman Mike Turner of Ohio proposed the measure and says being in a military uniform should not be a get-out-of-jail-free card.
Both the House and Senate appear determined to shake up the military's culture to halt the epidemic of sexual assaults.
Lawmakers want to ensure that victims have the confidence that if they report a crime, their allegations won't be disregarded.