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Revised 'I Am Vanessa Guillen Act' passed by U.S. House as part of larger National Defense Authorization Act

Fort Hood Soldier Vanessa Guillen's case sparked outrage and brought sexual assault in the military to the forefront.

TEXAS, USA — The House of Representatives voted Wednesday night to pass the National Defense Authorization Act.

The NDAA bill contains the revised I Am Vanessa Guillen Act. For the first time, it takes the authority to prosecute sexual assault and harassment away from the military and gives it to independent military prosecutors.

Houston Rep. Sylvia Garcia tweeted her support for the passage Wednesday.

"This bill will finally answer the call for countless survivors of sexual assault and harassment to provide independent prosecution of these crimes," the tweet states.

Guillen's case put a spotlight on sexual misconduct in the military. Guillen was murdered in April of 2020 in an armory room on Fort Hood and since then the Guillen family has been pushing for change in how the military handles cases of sexual assault and harassment.

The Guillen family and their attorney Natalie Khawam said they had been working with lawmakers to pass the act in an effort to reform the military justice system.

In Texas, a similar bill called the Vanessa Guillen Act, was also signed back in June and went into effect Sept. 1.

Many members of Congress took to social media to share their thoughts about the bill. 

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, shared her thoughts on the bill and offered her thanks to Washington Rep. Adam Smith.

Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas) of Houston mentioned Vanessa Guillen whose family played a key component in the passing of the bill. 

The bill now moves to the Senate before it makes its way to the White House. 

RELATED: Vanessa Guillen's family, US lawmakers call for justice for murdered Fort Hood soldier

RELATED: Legal expert: Don't expect indictment to be thrown out for woman charged in Vanessa Guillen's death

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