Latest "military sexual misconduct" stories
The commander in chief signed an executive order Wednesday making the changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
President Joe Biden is expected to sign the order Wednesday afternoon.
If the annual defense policy bill doesn't pass, neither will sweeping changes to how military sexual assault cases are handled.
Both House and Senate lawmakers earlier this year backed major changes in how serious crimes are prosecuted, but the proposal still faces hurdles to becoming law.