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House defense bill would require women to register for the military draft - do you agree?
Should women be required to register for the draft?
What’s the story?
- The House is expected to consider the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2022 next week, and this year’s edition of the annual defense authorization includes a controversial provision that would require women to register for the military draft.
- The House Armed Service Committee marked up its version of the NDAA last week and the overall bill advanced out of committee on a bipartisan vote of 57-2, although the amendment requiring women to register for the draft was adopted on a much closer vote.
- Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), an Air Force veteran, offered the NDAA amendment to include women in the Selective Service System and made the argument that the draft is currently unconstitutional because it discriminates based on sex. It was adopted on a bipartisan vote of 35-24 which saw lawmakers from both sides of the aisle break ranks with most of their party.
- Most Republican lawmakers opposed the amendment but five voted in favor: Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI), a retired Marine Corps general; Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY); Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX), an Air Force veteran; Rep. Scott Franklin (R-FL), a Navy veteran; and Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL), the first Green Beret to serve in Congress. All Democrats except for one voted in favor of the amendment: Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ)
- The Selective Service is the organization tasked with organizing and conducting a military draft at a time of national mobilization, although a draft hasn’t occurred since early 1973 and the U.S. military functions as an all-volunteer force. If a draft is called, potential draftees are assigned a lottery number and examined by the military for their mental, physical, and moral fitness before being deferred or exempted from military service or inducted into the Armed Forces.
- Current law requires men to register with the Selective Service within 30 days of their 18th birthday, or within 30 days of entering the U.S. in the case of male immigrants. All men between the ages of 18 and 25 are required to be registered.
- Failure to register with Selective Service is a felony that can lead to five years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or ineligibility for things like federal student loans, federal jobs or job training, or U.S. citizenship in the case of non-citizens.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army via Flickr photo by Australian Army W02 Andrew Hetherington - Combined Team Uruzgan Public Affairs / Creative Commons)
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