Republicans blast defense budget proposal requiring women to register for draft

Republicans blast defense budget proposal requiring women to register for draft

July 25, 2021

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Republicans are blasting a provision in the federal defense budget that would require women to register for the military draft. ​

The ​Senate National Defense Authorization Act, approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee last week, contains an amendment that would compel women between the ages of 18 to 25 to sign up for the Selected Service, just as men that age are required to do.

Republican Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, an Iraq War veteran known as a hawk on defense issues, and Josh Hawley of Missouri voted against the proposal.

“​Our military has welcomed women for decades and are stronger for it. 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​,” Cotton wrote on Twitter on Friday.​

Hawley also explained his opposition to the provision that will now be taken up by the full Senate. ​​

“I voted against forcing women to enter the draft, and here’s why. American women have heroically served in and alongside our fighting forces since our nation’s foundin​g,” Hawley tweeted. ​​

“​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,” he said.

Sens. James Inhofe, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Mike Rounds (R-SD) also oppose having women register for the draft, their aides told Roll Call.

“I support our military’s efforts to offer more opportunities for women who want to volunteer to serve,” Wicker said in a statement.

“But when I think of my own daughters and granddaughters, I could not in good conscience support an amendment that would compel their military service,” he said.

Republicans in the lower chamber also weighed in.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) said the draft should be solely for men. ​”

​This is it for me. 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​,” Roy said on Twitter. 

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