House committee approves bill requiring women to register for the draft


The U.S. House Armed Services Committee approved an annual defense policy bill Thursday that includes a provision requiring women to register for the military draft, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R., Texas), introduced the amendment, which narrowly passed on a 32-30 vote, the Journal said. The full House will vote on the bill in May.

“This should involve every member of Congress. This isn’t a military thing, it’s a family thing, it’s a cultural thing,” Hunter told the Journal in February when the amendment was introduced.

The provision is part of an effort to incorporate women into all parts of the military, which the Obama Administration called for in December.

“The important factor in making my decision was to have access to every American who could add strength to the joint force,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said at the time of that announcement.

The draft, formally known as the Selective Service System, hasn’t been used since 1972. But registration is required as a condition of receiving federal student aid or federal employment.

At least one female Senator has said she supports the move to incorporate women into frontline combat positions.

“This will strengthen our armed forces, and it builds on a history of honorable and courageous service by women throughout the military,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in December according to the Journal.

But the Journal reported in February that Hillary Clinton “wasn’t sure all women should register for the draft and was worried the shift could change the definition of an all-volunteer force.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday’s vote shows there should now be a full reevaluation of the role of the draft.

“We need to take a comprehensive look at the entire Selective Service process…And we shouldn’t just deal with one issue at a time,” he said according to the Washington Examiner.

Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.

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