CV NEWS FEED // The Senate Armed Services Committee voted this week to amend the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2022 to require that females register for selective service, meaning women would for the first time be mandated eligible for the draft.
The amendment in question passed the Senate committee vote 23-3 this week, RollCall reported, and will now be considered in the House.
House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee Chair Rep. Jackie Speier, D-CA, has argued in favor of the change for some years. “I actually think if we want equality in this country, if we want women to be treated precisely like men are treated and that they should not be discriminated against, we should be willing to support a universal conscription,” she said in 2017, according to RollCall.
But a number of Republicans, including two members of the Senate Armed Services Committee who voted against the amendment, are fighting to protect American women from the draft requirement.
“Our military has welcomed women for decades and are stronger for it,” stated committee member Sen. Tom Cotton, R-AR, on Friday. “But America’s daughters shouldn’t be drafted against their will. I opposed this amendment in committee, and I’ll work to remove it before the defense bill passes.”
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-MO, also on the Senate committee, wrote on Friday that he had “voted against forcing women to enter the draft.”
“American women have heroically served in and alongside our fighting forces since our nation’s founding,” Hawley explained:
It’s one thing to allow American women to choose this service, but it’s quite another to force it upon our daughters, sisters, and wives. Missourians feel strongly that compelling women to fight our wars is wrong and so do I.
It remains to be seen who in the House will take up the cause against the unprecedented change. For his part, Rep. Chip Roy, R-TX, has issued a clarion call for his colleagues to oppose it. “This is it for me,” Roy stated:
This is a litmus test. Fight this nonsense or we are not on the same team. Abolish the draft if you want… but draft my daughter you will not.