Congresswoman: ‘We Have to Change Culture of the Military'

(NECN) - President Barack Obama's gun control measure to reduce gun control violence will lead to a robust debate on the floor of Congress but does it have a chance to pass the House?

We are joined by Niki Tsongas, Congresswoman representing the 3rd district in Massachusetts.

It would take a lot of collaboration for something to move forward.

“It will, it will, but I think the tragedy of Newtown has been a very pivotal event and forced a lot of re-thinking,” says Tsongas.

The issue of sexual assault in the military isn’t getting nearly enough attention.

Tsongas talks about ‘The Invisible War,’ a new movie that has been nominated for an Oscar.

She says it has drawn much-needed attention to the issue. Tsongas found that one out of three female veterans reported having been the victim of some form of military sexual trauma.

“It’s a broad term, it encompasses a lot of unfortunate behavior, but nevertheless a real issue. I met a nurse who said she was more afraid of our own soldiers than she was of the enemy as she served in Afghanistan and Iraq because of the constant threat of sexual assault,” says Tsongas.

She says we have to change the culture of the military.

And what about the debt ceiling?

“I think what we all have to remember is that the debt ceiling is to recognize and to pay for commitments we have already made. It doesn’t lead to additional future spending,” Tsongas says. “I think there’s a much better understanding across the country around the implications of not raising it. Most immediately, it would probably lead to a downgrade in our credit rating, leads to higher borrowing costs and will hurt all of us.”

Watch the attached video for more.

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