Gillibrand: Ryan's cuts will put us back in recession

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.
In this Jan. 31, 2012 file photo, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., listens to a question from the media during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

(CBS News) Senate Democrats unveiled their first budget plan in four yearson Tuesday. They presented the budget -- crafted by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the chair of the Senate Budget Committee -- to President Obama in a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., told "CBS This Morning" that the Democrats' plan presents a "very balanced budget, one that can certainly cut back spending but in reasonable appropriate ways, can also begin to strengthen our entitlements in a way that keeps them there not just for this generation but for the next generation."

Gillibrand took aim at the GOP plan championed by House Budget Committee Chairmain Paul Ryan. "What Paul Ryan has offered is a cuts-only approach that will put us back into a recession," she said. "I think it's an approach that will change medicare as we know it. It's one that does not protect seniors. It does not protect the middle class."

Gillibrand also discussed the hearing she is set to chair in the Senate on Wednesday, the first hearing on sexual assaults in the military in nearly a decade. She believes the issue has not gotten enough attention, partly due to the low ratio of women in the Senate. Gillibrand added that "it is outrageous that there are 19,000 sexual assaults in our military every year" and said that "a third of those convicted are still serving in the military."

She called the statistics on sexual assault int he mlitary "incredibly disturbing," and said that of the 2,500 reported assaults in 2011, only 240 of them went to trial.

It's "so important we focus on these prosecutions," Gillibrand said, adding, "A victim needs to know that she will be able to prosecute the criminal who has attacked her."

For more from Gillibrand on the Senate Democrats' budget and on the hearing on sexual assault in the military, watch the video above.